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Great willowherb

(Epilobium hirsutum)

Great or hairy willowherb © Ray Woods/Plantlife

Great or hairy willowherb © Ray Woods/Plantlife


Great willowherb, as its name suggests, is the largest natural willowherb found in Britain and Ireland.

It is sometimes called 'hairy willowherb' because of its downy stem and this is also the source of its Latin name (hirsutus being Latin for shaggy or hairy).

Great willowherb produces purple-pink flowers with a white centre that can reach up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Its leaves grow opposite each other and clasp around the stem. It is one of the flowers we keep track of in our Wildflowers Count survey - click here to find out how you can help out.

Distribution

Throughout England, Northern Ireland, Wales and south and east Scotland.

Habitat

Damp areas in grassland, woodland. Pond margins and ditches.

Best time to see

Flowers June to August.