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Alpine Willowherb

Epilobium anagallidifolium

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Onagraceae (Willowherb)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Gardens, mountains, riversides, waterside.

Pink, 4 petals
Rose pink flowers with notched petals, 7 to 10mm across. Reddish-pink sepals.
The fruit is a dark red, cylindrical pod.
A low growing perennial flower growing in clumps. The leaves are in opposite pairs and are oblong to elliptical in shape. The leaves are yellowish-green and scarcely toothed. The leaves each measure up to 1 inch (2.5cm) long.
Other Names:
Pimpernel Willowherb.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Epilobium anagallidifolium is a perennial herb that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in North America and beyond. It is a species of willowherb known by the common names pimpernel willowherb and alpine willowherb. This small flowering plant has a circumboreal distribution and grows in alpine locations in the southernmost parts of its range. It typically blooms between June and August with four petals that are usually a single color. The leaves of this plant are opposite and the flower size is about 0.3 inches. In terms of uses, it has been used as an ornamental plant in gardens, as well as for its medicinal properties.


Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium anagallidifolium) is a beautiful and unique flowering plant that is native to the high mountain regions of Europe, Asia and North America. This delicate plant is known for its brilliant pink flowers, which bloom in the summer and provide a beautiful contrast against the lush green foliage.

The Alpine Willowherb is a member of the willowherb family and is known for its tall and slender growth habit, reaching up to 2 meters in height. The leaves of the plant are narrow and lance-shaped, growing in an alternate pattern along the stem. The delicate flowers, which are arranged in clusters, are pink to rose-red in color and are a favorite among hummingbirds and butterflies.

Despite its beauty, the Alpine Willowherb is quite hardy and can thrive in challenging growing conditions. It is adapted to growing in alpine meadows and rocky outcroppings, where it can withstand high winds, cold temperatures and dry soil. The plant is also well-adapted to growing in disturbed areas, making it an ideal species for restoring damaged mountain habitats.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Alpine Willowherb has a number of ecological benefits. The plant is an important source of nectar for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and is also a critical food source for many herbivores, including deer and elk. Furthermore, the plant's extensive root system helps to stabilize soil in high mountain regions and prevent erosion.

If you are interested in growing the Alpine Willowherb, it is important to remember that this plant is native to mountain regions and prefers well-drained soils with a neutral to alkaline pH. The plant prefers full sun to partial shade, and will grow best in a location that is sheltered from strong winds. In addition, it is important to note that the Alpine Willowherb is a long-lived perennial that is slow to establish, so it is best to give it a few years to become established in the garden.

The Alpine Willowherb is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-adapted to growing in challenging mountain habitats. Whether you are interested in adding a touch of beauty to your garden or contributing to the conservation of mountain ecosystems, this plant is an excellent choice.

In terms of propagation, the Alpine Willowherb can be propagated through seed or cuttings. The seed can be collected from mature plants in the fall and sown in a cold frame or directly in the ground. If you choose to propagate the plant through cuttings, it is best to take cuttings from new growth in the spring or early summer and root them in a mixture of sand and peat.

One important aspect to consider when growing the Alpine Willowherb is its invasive potential. While the plant is not considered invasive in its native range, it has been introduced to other regions and can quickly spread beyond its intended area. To prevent this, it is important to monitor the plant's growth and to control its spread by removing any unwanted shoots that appear outside of the desired growing area.

In terms of cultural significance, the Alpine Willowherb has a long history of use by indigenous peoples in its native range. The plant was traditionally used for medicinal purposes and is still used today in some cultures to treat a variety of ailments. In addition, the plant is often used in traditional crafts, such as basket weaving and cordage, due to its strong and durable fibers.

Overall, the Alpine Willowherb is a unique and beautiful plant that offers a range of ecological, cultural and ornamental benefits. Whether you are a gardener, ecologist or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, this plant is definitely worth considering.

It is also worth mentioning that the Alpine Willowherb is considered to be a threatened species in some regions, particularly due to habitat loss and degradation. In order to conserve this important plant species, it is important to protect and conserve its native habitats, and to encourage sustainable land use practices in mountain regions.

One way to support the conservation of the Alpine Willowherb is by participating in citizen science programs and by reporting observations of the plant to local authorities. This data can help researchers to better understand the distribution and status of the species, and to identify areas that are in need of conservation efforts.

Another way to support the conservation of the Alpine Willowherb is by growing the plant in your own garden. By creating a thriving population of the plant in a cultivated setting, you can help to ensure the survival of the species and to promote its conservation for future generations.

In conclusion, the Alpine Willowherb is a unique and important plant species that is well worth protecting and conserving. Whether you are a gardener, ecologist, or simply someone who loves the beauty of nature, there are many ways to get involved in the conservation of this special species. By working together, we can help to ensure the survival of the Alpine Willowherb for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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