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Epilobium

Common Name(s):

Description

Epilobium is a genus of flowering plants in the evening primrose family and contains about 197 species. Willowherbs are mostly herbaceous plants, either annual or perennial and a few are subshrubs. Willowherbs are typically very quick to carpet large swathes of the ground and may become the dominant species of local ecosystems. 

The hairy Willowherb or Codling-and-Cream is the one found most often in the eastern US and grows to 6 feet tall. It has hairy leaves and stalks and notched flower petals. Rock fringe is a prostrate form from the western United States. Fireweed can show up after a fire. Annual varieties are more common in cool regions but occur occasionally as a cool-season weed in warmer areas.

The plants are sometimes cultivated but must be carefully confined. Soil preference depends on the species as some invade wet areas and some prefer dry sites.

Warning: This weed is becoming more prevalent in container nurseries, likely spreading in contaminated nursery crops. Inspect liners to prevent introduction. Prevent plants from going to seed in or near production areas. Willowherbs are not well controlled by herbicides currently labeled for use in container nursery crops. Herbicide efficacy rankings for this species are based on limited experimental data.

Certain species of this plant are considered invasive or noxious weeds in some states.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#invasive#edible plant#herbs#weed#weedy#honey bees#weeds#herbal
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#invasive#edible plant#herbs#weed#weedy#honey bees#weeds#herbal
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Epilobium
    Family:
    Onagraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as a herbal supplement in the treatment of prostate, bladder (incontinence) and hormone disorders. Sap from the stem used on wounds for anti-inflammatory properties.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    All over the world except the hotest areas.
    Distribution:
    Most of North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Fireweed is used as a sweetener in northwestern North America. It is put in candy, jellies, ice cream, syrup, and sxusem ("Indian ice cream"). Bees produce rich spicy honey from the nectar. Leaves and stems edible if cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Weed
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • 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)
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a slender cylindrical capsule containing numerous seeds embedded in fine, soft silky fluff which disperses the seeds in the wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    The flowers have four petals that may be notched to deeply notched. These are usually smallish and pink in most species, but red, orange or yellow in a few. May occur as a panicle.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are usually opposite and rarely whorled and sometimes sessile. They are simple and ovate to lanceolate in shape. The leaves may or may not have hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Stems may be smooth or hairy and are winged.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy