Purple-Leaved Willowherb
Epilobium ciliatum Raf.
Family: Onagraceae, Evening Primrose
Genus: Epilobium
Synonyms: E. glandulosum, E. watsonii
Other names: hairy willowherb
Nomenclature: ciliatum = fringed with hairs
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: perennial, spreading by short rootstocks. Stems 30-100 cm tall, usually simple below but rather freely branched above, often glandular above, especially in the flower cluster, weakly to densely hairy, the hairs either in lines down from leaf bases or more general.

Leaves: basal and opposite, short-stalked to almost stalkless, narrowly lanceolate to rather broadly ovate-lanceolate, 3-7 cm long, generally shallowly sharp-toothed.

Flowers: white or cream to deep purplish-red, with 4 notched petals, 3-10 mm long, often blooming the first season. Several erect flowers in branched clusters. Sepals 2-5 mm long, often purplish. Stigma entire or if lobed the lobes usually joined. June-August.

Fruits: erect, linear pods, 4-8 cm long, with flat, stiff, short hairs to glandular-hairy. Seeds 0.5-1.2 mm long, distinctly crested with tiny bumps in numerous parallel longitudinal lines, the coma white.


Moist to wet, open or wooded sites, plains to montane zone, in w. and c. parts of MT Also from AK to CO.
Sub taxa:

ssp. ciliatum Raf.:
Flower cluster not glandular, often grayish with short, flat-lying to curved hairs, not common.

ssp. glandulosum (Lehm.) Hoch & Raven:
Flower cluster from sparsely to densely glandular, more common.

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