Plant DetailShow Menu

Epilobium ciliatum is often confused with:
Epilobium hirsutum Pink petals have a notch at the top.
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cicuta maculata Cicuta maculata
Eclipta prostrata leaves and flowers
Chilopsis linearis Chilopsis linearis

Northern Willowherb Epilobium ciliatum

Phonetic Spelling
ep-ih-LOW-bee-um sil-ee-ATE-um
Description

Willowherbs are in the Onagraceae family.  They are annuals that are more common in cool regions but occur occasionally as a cool-season weed in warmer areas. Seedlings are small and slow to establish, but once established, plants elongate to 18 inches tall. This weed is becoming more prevalent in container nurseries, likely spreading in contaminated nursery crops. Inspect liners to prevent introduction. Its seeds are spread by the wind.  Preventing the plants from going to seed can curb its spread.  Willowherbs are not well managed by herbicides currently labeled for use. Herbicide efficacy rankings for this species are based on limited experimental data.  This weed is similar to northern willowherb  (Epilobium hirsutum)

They can be found growing in locations where the soil has been disturbed such as in forests, along hillside ledges and ridges, in meadows and fields and along the shores of waterways.  

The Scientific name ciliatum comes from the Greek word epi which translates to 'on the pod or capsule' and ciliatum referring to the hairs giving a fringe to the plant.  

An easy plant to get children to draw and to get them involved in seeing the beauty of the great outdoors.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues.  Weedy plant that can be invasive.  Non invasive in North Carolina.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#annuals#weeds#pink flowers#weedy#native perennials#wetlands#herbaceous#herbaceous perennials#delicate#naturalizes#self-seeding#naturalized area#native annual#annual weed#cool season weed#delicate flowers#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#host plant#container plant#native#broadleaf#butterflies#butterfly#butterfly garden#birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#annuals#weeds#pink flowers#weedy#native perennials#wetlands#herbaceous#herbaceous perennials#delicate#naturalizes#self-seeding#naturalized area#native annual#annual weed#cool season weed#delicate flowers#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#host plant#container plant#native#broadleaf#butterflies#butterfly#butterfly garden#birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Epilobium
    Species:
    ciliatum
    Family:
    Onagraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia, North and South America
    Distribution:
    AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE. HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC. ND. NE.NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    It serves as a host plant for several types of butterflies and moths. The flowers also attract hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are long, slim, hairy, four chambered capsules. They will split open when dry, disbursing seeds with a tuft of white hairs on their tips.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The single, flowers can be pink/red, blue/purple, or white. They are single flowers with notched petals arising from the leaf axils on the upper portion of the plant. Each has four petals, sepals or tepals. The tepals or sepals are not fused, but separate.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are opposite on most of the plant. The upper stem can have alternate leaves. The leaves lack petioles are deeply veined and can have purple shading along the margins. The lower leaves are hairless while the leaves closer to the flowers have a small quantity of hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Typically single stemmed, the upper portion has hairs, while the lower portion is hairless.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy