Willow-Herb, Hairy

Epilobium hirsutum
The 3 willow-herb species shown here have lance-shaped, nearly sessile leaves. There are 4 notched, roundish, white or pink petals and long, slender, upright, 4-sided seedpods.

This species is a bushy, hairy 3-6' plant. The usually opposite, hairy, lance-shaped leaves are fine-toothed and clasp the stem. The purple, up to 1" flowers are at the tips of 2-3" stalk-like seed capsules arising from the leaf axils. Each of the 4 overlapping petals is cleft 1/4 of its length. The sepals are half as long as the petals and there is a 4-part stigma. Blooms June-September in waste places, roadsides, stream banks.

Downy willow-herb (E. strictum) has short softer hairs, narrower smooth-edged leaves. The flowers of Hairy willow-herb are upright, rather than drooping as are those of Common willow-herb (E. coloratum).