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Broad-leaved Willowherb

Epilobium montanum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Onagraceae (Willowherb)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Ditches, gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, walls, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Pink, 4 petals
4 pinkish-purple deeply notched petals. Stigmas have 4 lobes.
Long, linear fruit capsule, up to 5cm long. 4-sided. The fruit capsule contains the many plumed seeds.
Smooth, glossy, opposite, oval leaves. Very short stalked and leaf margins are sharp-toothed.
Other Names:
Broad-leaf Willowherb.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Epilobium montanum, also known as Broad-leaved Willowherb, is a species of flowering plant in the willowherb family Onagraceae. It is native to Europe but has been introduced to other parts of the world. It typically grows to a height of 30-70cm (12-28 in) and has pale pink flowers. The leaves are lanceolate to oval and the seeds are enclosed in a capsule. Epilobium montanum is found naturally in temperate-zone woods and can be used as an ornamental plant in gardens.


Broad-leaved Willowherb, also known as Epilobium montanum, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Onagraceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that is native to northern and central Europe, Asia, and North America. The plant is named after its broad, willow-like leaves and its mountainous habitat.

The Broad-leaved Willowherb grows to a height of 60-100 cm, and its leaves are lance-shaped and 4-10 cm long. The plant produces pink or rose-colored flowers that bloom from July to August. The flowers are small, with four petals and are arranged in terminal spikes. The plant reproduces by seeds, which are produced in large numbers and are easily dispersed by wind and water.

Broad-leaved Willowherb is a very adaptable plant that can grow in a variety of soils, including sandy soils, loamy soils, and clay soils. It is often found in moist, open habitats, such as meadows, stream banks, and along roadsides. The plant is also able to colonize disturbed sites, such as roadsides, and can become invasive in some areas.

Despite its ability to colonize disturbed sites, Broad-leaved Willowherb is considered to be a valuable plant species. The plant provides nectar and habitat for many species of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths. The plant's leaves and stems also provide food for several species of caterpillars, making it an important food source for many species of wildlife.

Broad-leaved Willowherb is a versatile and valuable plant species that provides a range of benefits for wildlife and the environment. Its ability to grow in a variety of soils and habitats, as well as its role as a food source for pollinators and wildlife, make it an important species to conserve. If you have the opportunity to observe or grow Broad-leaved Willowherb, take the time to appreciate this valuable and adaptable plant.

The Broad-leaved Willowherb is also used for medicinal purposes, especially in traditional Chinese medicine. The plant's leaves and roots contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antibacterial properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, the plant is used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin diseases, inflammation, and tumors.

In recent years, Broad-leaved Willowherb has gained attention for its potential as a phytoremediation plant. Phytoremediation is the use of plants to clean up contaminated soils and water. The plant is able to absorb heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, from contaminated soil, and can be used to help clean up contaminated sites.

Broad-leaved Willowherb is also a popular ornamental plant, with its attractive pink or rose-colored flowers and its ability to grow in a variety of soils and habitats. The plant is easy to care for and can be grown from seeds or cuttings. If you are interested in growing Broad-leaved Willowherb in your garden, it is important to be aware of its potential to become invasive in some areas.

Broad-leaved Willowherb is a versatile and valuable plant species that provides a range of benefits for the environment and human health. Whether you are interested in its potential as a medicinal plant, its role in phytoremediation, or its beauty as an ornamental plant, Broad-leaved Willowherb is a species worth exploring and appreciating.

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, Broad-leaved Willowherb has cultural and historical significance as well. The plant has been used by indigenous people for thousands of years, both as a food source and for medicinal purposes. The plant's leaves, stems, and roots were used for a variety of ailments, including skin diseases, respiratory problems, and digestive issues.

In some cultures, Broad-leaved Willowherb is considered to have spiritual or mystical properties. In ancient times, the plant was believed to have the ability to ward off evil spirits and was often used in rituals and ceremonies. Today, the plant is still considered to have spiritual significance and is often used in spiritual practices, such as meditation and aromatherapy.

In addition to its cultural and spiritual significance, Broad-leaved Willowherb is also an important part of the ecosystem. The plant provides important habitats and food sources for a variety of wildlife species, including pollinators, birds, and insects. The plant is also an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, which are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems and producing food crops.

In conclusion, Broad-leaved Willowherb is a versatile and important plant species with a rich cultural and historical background. Whether you are interested in its medicinal uses, its spiritual significance, or its role in the ecosystem, Broad-leaved Willowherb is a species worth exploring and appreciating. With its ability to grow in a variety of soils and habitats, and its attractive pink or rose-colored flowers, Broad-leaved Willowherb is a valuable and versatile plant species that should be protected and preserved for future generations.


Broad-leaved Willowherb filmed all around the Chorley area of Lancashire on the 2nd July 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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