Girardinia diversifolia is also known as the Himalayan Nettle or the Nilgiri Nettle. The plant can be often be encountered in Nilgiris along road-sides in mid-altitude regions. The plant is covered with prickles which on physical contact can deliver a powerful punch. Roxburg called it as “most ferocious looking plant with stings producing acute pain…”
The leaves of the plant are carefully cooked and consumed in the Himalayan regions. Almost all parts of the plant have some useful medical application.
Nettle yarn is made from this plant is used to make sewing thread, ropes, nets etc. Inspite of having virulent stinging leaves, the Indian Red Admiral (Vanessa Indica) butterfly uses this plant as its larval host plant. The local Kotas of Nilgiri call this plant as “Thoyir”, and believe that this plant was their original source in the past to extract fibre for clothing.