With its a bare trunk and its leaves and flowers growing in tufts at the top of its branches, the Nettle tree (Obetia pinnatifida) looks rather like a papaya tree. It grows on dry, rocky hillsides and you can see it on the slopes of Lake Nakuru, in the Menengai crater, Hells gate and Mount Suswa.
Its bark is smooth and yellowish green with marks left by old leaves.
The flowers are small and greenish white, turning brown and papewry when they dry.
It has simple dry one-seeded fruit, 1-2 mm long, known as 'achenes'.
The leaves are large (up to 30 cm long) and lobed. Both the leaves and the young branches are covered in stinging hairs.
People use the Nettle tree's leaves and roots for medicine and make rope from its fibrous wood.