Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.
(Chamerion angustifolium )
A striking wild plant with tall spires of large pink flowers and leaves that grow like a staircase around the stem.
Rosebay willowherb is a fine example of a 'pioneer species' - the first plants to colonise a barren area with very little competition (such as the sites of forest fires). For this reason it was a familiar sight following the London Blitz (see below).
Common throughout England, Wales and south-east Scotland. Rarer in Ireland.
As a pioneer plant, rosebay willowherb thrives on waste ground. Keep an eye out for it when travelling by car or train.
Best time to see
Late summer, when it flowers: July-September.
County flower of London.
London has indelible memories of the drifts of purple willowherb in the bomb sites of the second world war. Today it mingles with buddleias and Michaelmas daisies on railway banks, old walls and waste ground.