NEW-ZEALAND WILLOWHERB

Epilobium brunnescens

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]

Flowers:
month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white, long, simple, within a 4-sided pod)
pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

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

2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
A short sprawling plant with tiny flowers on absurdly long stalks. Here growing amongst Parsley Fern.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
Four deeply-nicked petals, surrounded by four greeny-red sepals, each with a pinkish-red bobble at the otherwise pointed tip. These look like hydathodes, which secrete excess water. The very long stalk has four parallel grooves where it splits to released the feathered seeds.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
The seeds are contained in the slightly thickened upper half of the extremely long flower stalk.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
Four pinkish-white petals surround a white fuzzy bobble held above cream-coloured anthers.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are in pairs opposite each other all the way along the stems. The leaves


23rd July 2010. Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
The very lengthy seed pods split open into four strips along their length to reveal the seeds neatly packed within.


23rd July 2010. Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Each seed has its own pappus, or 'parachute' of hairs to aid dispersion by wind.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
The seeds having now flown from the fully-opened pods.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are oval with an 80 degree bend down the middle which stops a little over half-way along to the tip.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
Leaf stalks are very short, and seem to emerge from around the back of the stem.


2nd Sept 2010, Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia. Photo: © RWD
Leaf stalks are very short, and seem to emerge from around the back of the stem.


18th Sept 2015, Coppermines Valley, Coniston, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The leaves of this specimen have turned all shades between green, grey, brown, pink and crimson. Growing on top of a moss.


18th Sept 2015, Coppermines Valley, Coniston, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Long flower stems spring out along the length of the plant as the tip continues to grow longer. Two flower buds just NE of centre and another further SE of centre.


18th Sept 2015, Coppermines Valley, Coniston, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
One long petiole with an opened flower NNE of centre.


18th Sept 2015, Coppermines Valley, Coniston, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD


Hybridizes with :

  • American Willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum) to produce Epilobium × brunnatum
  • Spear-leaved Willowherb (Epilobium lanceolatum) to produce Epilobium × cornubiense
  • Broad-Leaved Willowherb (Epilobium montanum) to produce Epilobium × confusilobum
  • Short-fruited Willowherb (Epilobium obscurum) to produce Epilobium × obscurescen
  • Marsh Willowherb (Epilobium palustre) to produce Epilobium × chateri
  • Hoary Willowherb (Epilobium parviflorum) to produce Epilobium × argillaceum
All one big happy family!

Of the above hybrids, and given the location of the above photographs (Llyn Idwal and Coppermines valley), there are NO Willowherbs that it could possibly be hybridized with: giving a positive identification.

The leaves have some similarities to : some Scurvygrasses. The flowers even has the same number of petals (4), but in the case of New-Zealand Willowherb, are on massively longer stalks.

No relation to : Willows [trees with similar name].

The massively long stalks upon which the tiny flowers perch become the seed pods, which, when ripe, split lengthways into four long straw-like long, thin, narrow blades, releasing the seeds which are on feathery parachutes.

A non-native from New Zealand which is spreading rapidly through the hills and indeed mountain valleys of North Wales, The Pennines, Cumbria and the Scottish hills and mountains. It is prostrate, forming matts and roots along its procumbent stems.

Two similar rock-garden escapes all the way from New Zealand (they must be tired out now having come all that way) are Rockery Willowherb (Epilobium pedunculare) and Bronzy Willowherb (Epilobium komarovianum). The two only occupy a handful of hectads in the UK, and the latter has not been seen since 1999 (according to BSBI maps).


  Epilobium brunnescens  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Onagraceae  

Distribution
 family8Willowherb family8Onagraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Epilobium
Epilobium
(Willowherbs)

NEW-ZEALAND WILLOWHERB

Epilobium brunnescens

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]

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