(Alt: Urtica dioica var. occidentalis )
Bernice Bjornson’s 1946 treatment of Urtica includes this quote: “Among the American Indians nettle cord was second only in importance to the Apocynum or Indian hemp. The North Pacific Indians have an interesting myth to account for the use of this plant. In the olden times, says this tale, the people were starving, for although the salmon were plentiful in the rivers, the Indians had no means of obtaining them. Spider, seeing their pitiful condition, and wishing to help them, changed himself into a man and married one of their maidens. He it was who directed them in gathering and preparing the nettles, and when the cord was completed he taught them in his own cunning way how to weave it into nets. Nettle greens are also a good old-fashioned dish both in this country and in Europe.” (Haskin 1934).
Haskin, L. L. 1934. Wild Flowers of the Pacific Coast. Metropolitan Press, Portland, OR.