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Great Willowherb Epilobium angustifolium

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Chamerion angustifolium
Description

A rhizomatous perennial wildflower that is easy to grow in full sun to partial shade, high organic matter, well-drained soil.  It can struggle in our hot southern summers, requiring afternoon shade and moist soils and does best in the mountain region of the state.  It is found in a variety of areas including roadsides, clearings, and open woods.  The common name comes from its propensity to appear after fires.  Plant in informal areas of the landscape including meadows or woodland gardens, in borders, or massed in rock or cottage gardens.  To encourage more blooming remove spent flowers before they go to seed.

Insects. Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Snails and slugs are occasional visitors.  Powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spot are occasional problems.  The wind-dispersed seeds can make fireweed weedy and aggressive.  

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#summer#perennial#wildlife plant#wildflowers#weedy#nectar plant#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#aggressive#airy#autumn#woodland#rock gardens#english garden#billowy#natualize#honeybees#robust
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#summer#perennial#wildlife plant#wildflowers#weedy#nectar plant#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#aggressive#airy#autumn#woodland#rock gardens#english garden#billowy#natualize#honeybees#robust
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Epilobium
    Species:
    angustifolium
    Family:
    Onagraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Greenlan, Eurasia
    Wildlife Value:
    Honeybees are attracted to the flowers and the nectar from fireweed makes delicious honey.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    seed pod contains numerous seeds with a tuft of silky hairs at one end. Seeds are wind-dispersed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-1.5 in. deep pink to magenta-purple saucer-shaped flowers on an elongated, slender, drooping inflorescence; four roundish petals. Blooms in summer from the bottom to the top of the stem in terminal racemes.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    2"-8" in. long 3/4" wide willow-like lanceolate or linear leaves with pinnate veins
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Reddish green, unbranched, stiff, upright
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups