American Willowherb - Epilobium ciliatum


    Medium to tall, often reddish plant, without stolons, stems erect with four raised lines. Produces leafy rosettes at the base during autumn. Leaves mostly opposite, oblong lanceolate, toothed. Flowers purplish pink, 8 to 9 mm, erect in bud, the petals deeply notched. Stigma club shaped. Many glandular hairs on the supper stem, sepals and parts of the fruiting structure

    Similar Species

    One of four similar species; E obscurum, E tetragonum and E roseum also have club-shaped stigma.   E tetragonum has no glandular hairs and perennates with loose leaf-rosettes.  E obscurum has few glandular hairs and perennates with leafy stolons. E roseum is very similar to E ciliatum but has longer petioles.  Hybrids also occur.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    Waste ground, roadsides, cultivated land.

    When to see it

    June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Has spread rapidly, and is now fairly common over much of Britain except the northern half of Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 191 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map