Square-stalked Willowherb - Epilobium tetragonum

    Alternative names
    Square-stemmed Willowherb

    Medium to tall plant with long strap shaped, toothed leaves. The pink flowers have four notched petals and a club shaped stigma. The stem is square and the fruit capsules are 7 to 10 cm long.

    Similar Species

    One of four similar species; E obscurum, E roseum and E ciliatum also have club-shaped stigma.   E roseum has many glandular hairs and longer petioles, and is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register.  E obscurum has few glandular hairs and perennates with leafy stolons. E ciliatum has numerous glandular hairs on the upper parts of the stem, sepals and parts of the fruits, and perennates with dense leafy basal rosettes.   Hybrids also occur.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

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


    Damp areas such as ditches, stream sides and woodland clearings.

    When to see it

    July and August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly frequent in lowland England and Wales north to Yorkshire.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 53 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