Epilobium coloratum willow herb Onagraceae EPCO; Bx, pb, sf; Q, j, ri; R, c, cs, gr, h, is, lp, rw, sv, t, w;

Epilobium coloratum plant in bloom. commons.wikimedia.org

Epilobium coloratum plant in bloom. commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 5/2018).

Epilobium coloratum is a perennial herb to 1 m tall (usually shorter), from overwintering rosettes, stem freely branching, often reddish at nodes (Yatskievych 2006).

Leaves opposite, short-stalked, blade lance-shaped, 4-1.5 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, often reddish, tip long-pointed (acuminate), base usually rounded, margin closely, veins impressed above, shallowly toothed; winter rosette of small, light green, toothed, elliptic leaves. 

Epilobium coloratum flower and fruit. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. delawarewildflowers.org

Epilobium coloratum flower and young fruit. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. delawarewildflowers.org (Accessed 5/018).

Flowers pinkish-white, 4-parted, radially symmetrical, petals 0.3-0.5 cm long, 0.2-0.3 cm wide, calyx lobes alternating with petals, stamens 8 pinkish, stigma rounded, white, ovary inferior, elongate, linear; inflorescence much branched, with leafy bracts, reduced upward, flowers numerous, closely spaced; blooms July-Oct. 


Epilobium coloratum.old fruit hulls.copyright David G.Smith.1.2012.Delaware Wild Flowers.delawarewildflowers.org (Accessed 1/2017).

Fruit becoming dry, linear, 3-6 cm long, 0.1 cm wide, 4-valved; valves curling back to release numerous black seeds 0.2 cm long, each plumed with red-brown hairs; wind-dispersed through fall, into winter. 

Wetland status: OBL. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open, wet edges, marshes, swamp forest edges; soil pH 4.5-7.5. Tolerant of partial shade. Intolerant of salt (USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Notes: Winter plant with numerous, pale tan, fine, curling pod valves.