Wild Flower Web
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-- All habitats --
4 petalled reddish-purple flowers, unequal in shape, up to 3cm across. Long reddish sepals, in showy spikes.
Many-seeded fruit pods, or capsules. The fruit pods are slender and pinkish-purple in colour. They stand erect and the pods split open later in the year, leaving the brown seeds to be dispersed. The seed has a fluffy tuft of white hair attached which helps the wind disperse it.
The leaves are spirally arranged up the single upright stem. Their margins are toothless. The leaves are narrow with pointed tips and are pinnately veined. The leaves resemble willow leaves.
The leaves and tips of the branches can be eaten either raw or cooked. They are good in salads and high in vitamins A and C. The dried leaves can be used to make tea. The young shoots can be cooked and eaten. They are a good substitute for asparagus. The flower buds can also be eaten, raw or cooked.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Blood Vine, Blooming Sally, Bomb-site Weed, Bombweed, Common Fireweed, Fireweed, Fireweed, Flowering Willow, French-willow, Great Willowherb, Narrow-leaved Fireweed, Perennial Fireweed, Persian Willow, Purple Rocket, Railway Chrysanthemum, Rose Bay Willowherb, Rosebay Willow, Singerweed, Spiked Willowherb, Wickup.
Bogs, farmland, fens, gardens, heathland, marshes, meadows, mountains, roadsides, rocks, wasteland, waterside, wetland, woodland.