Great Willowherb - Epilobium hirsutum

    Alternative names
    Great Hairy Willowherb

    Robust, softly hairy, tall plant to 2 metres, forming extensive patches; stems erect. Leaves opposite sometimes whorled, oblong to lanceolate unstalked, and half clasping the stem, coarsely toothed. Flowers bright purplish pink, 15 to 25 mm in a leafy raceme, petals notched, stigma four lobed.

    Similar Species

     E parviflorum can look similar, but has smaller, paler flowers

    Identification difficulty

    Waste places, ditches, roadside verges, and damp areas.

    When to see it

    June to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Very common in England and Wales, but mainly confined to the east coast in Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 600 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