Rose Bay Willow Herb, Rose Bay,
French Willow, Fireweed
Height: 2-6' (60-180 cm) Flowering Time: Summer Flower Colour: Pink ____________________________________
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons) Superorder: Rosidae (Rose Superorder) Order: Myrtales (Myrtle Order) Family: Onagraceae (Willow-herb Family) Genus: Epilobium (Willow-Herb) Species: angustifolium (with narrow leaves) ____________________________________
Epilobium angustifolium is a well-known wildflower, often forming large colonies on roadsides, looking similar to Foxglove and found in much the same habitat. It is a tough plant, with straight woody stems to several feet high, bearing long thin leaves with a red midrib underneath. The bright pink four-petalled flowers with protruding stigmas are borne on a long spike, opening from long rubbery-looking buds. It is one of the first plants to colonise areas devastated by volcanoes, hence one of its common names, Fireweed. The seedpods are long and thin, and the seeds are surrounded by fluff, which means they are blown far and wide by the slightest breeze, spreading the plant over wide areas. The plant also spreads by reddish stolons.
Epilobium angustifolium is one of the food plants of the Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar (Deilephila elpenor).
Epilobium angustifolium has been used in herbal medicine to reduce inflammation, as a relaxant, laxative and to treat burns, coughs and asthma.
Harvesting and Growing from Seed:
Seed Pod The seedpod is long and thin, opening in a wide star shape.
Seed The seeds are small brown drops surrounded by white fluff. There are many seeds in a seed pod.
Seedling The seedling has long narrow leaves, often tinged with red.
(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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