MARSH WILLOWHERB

Epilobium palustre

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white, long, simple within a 4-sided pod)
pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round

18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers as well as their long 'flower stalks' flop over a bit. Found in wettish places usually on acid soils, growing amidst what is probably Jointed Rush (Juncus articulatis).


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The very long flopped-over flower stalk will eventually become the even longer seed pods, like the two now bolt upright on the left. That happens when the flowers have dropped off the ends of their 'long stalks'. A short plant: grows only from 15 to 60cm high.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have 4 pinkish or lilac petals, with a notch in the middle of each. Leaves are all dull-green and strap shaped; lower leaves just bigger.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The seed pods are square and slightly fluted.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves dull-green (only occasionally purplish) and strap-shaped; lower just larger. Between 4 to 10mm wide, blunt-tipped, and either stalkless or only with short stalk (up to 4mm on uppermost leaves - as on this leaf). The leaves taper to the base and usually join directly and around the stem.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves. All are more or less hairless. The leaves are either untoothed, or only indistinctively toothed.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Here leaves are opposite; but that may be an exception. The lower stem is only occasionally purplish (the seed pods are usually dark purple) and has far fewer hairs. Mostly the stems lack raised ridges (as here), but some do have two raised lines.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Here leaves not opposite. A new flower bud with smaller leaves is branching off from just above the leaf-axil.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
There are four long sepals behind the flower. The middle flower has not yet opened and is still in bud. Hairs on stem and on seed pods are very short, but numerous.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The petals are violet-veined and 4-7mm long. There are 8 stamens on all Willowherbs, but the single style has either a cross shape or a club shape at the end. Marsh Willowherb has club-shaped stigmas.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
An un-opened flower bud. Both latent seed-pod and sepals are mostly covered in short hairs, the leaves with fewer short hairs.


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD


18th July 2014, mine track, Glenridding Hut, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The upper stem has few and flattened non-glandular hairs and scattered but erect hairs with glands at the tip. The same two types of hair are also present on young seed capsules and on the flowers. If your imagination is wild enough you can see the glandular hairs on this photo or on the one above. (Lower parts of stems have far fewer hairs)


Hybridizes with other Willowherbs, namely :

  • New-Zealand Willowherb (Epilobium brunnescens) to produce Epilobium ×chateri
  • Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium anagallidifolium) to produce Epilobium × dasycarpum
  • Chickweed Willowherb (Epilobium alsinifolium) to produce Epilobium × haynaldianum
  • Pale Willowherb (Epilobium roseum) to produce Epilobium × purpureum
  • Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) to produce Epilobium × waterfallii
  • Short-fruited Willowherb (Epilobium obscurum) to produce Epilobium × schmidtianum
All one big happy family!

Lookee-Likees : Many other Willowherbs!


  Epilobium palustre  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Onagraceae  

Distribution
family8Willowherb family8Onangraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Epilobium
Epilobium
(Willowherbs)

MARSH WILLOWHERB

Epilobium palustre

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]  

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