Scientific Name:
Epilobium ciliatum Raf. (1808)
  • = Epilobium adenocaulon Hausskn. (1879)
  • = Epilobium erectum Petrie, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 34 (1902) pro parte
Vernacular Name(s):
tall willowherb

Erect herb 15–200 cm tall, increasing by leafy rosettes near the base of the thick, hollow stem; stems strigillose only along the elevated lines decurrent from the margins of the petioles. Lvs mostly opposite (the uppermost alternate), deep green, glabrous, (1)–2–9 × 0.7–3 cm, lanceolate, serrulate with 20–30 teeth each side; base rounded or obtuse, apex acuminate; petiole 1–2 mm long. Infl. nodding, strigillose and with glandular hairs. Fls erect. Ovary 0.8–2.5 cm long, hairy, sometimes densely so. Floral tube 0.5–1.4 mm deep, with a conspicuous ring of long hairs inside. Sepals keeled, 2–4 × 1–1.2 mm. Petals rose-purple, 3.5–5.5 × 2.2–3.2 mm. Filaments of the longer stamens 1.4–3 mm long. Style white, 1.5–3 mm long, glabrous; stigma clavate, 1.2–2 mm high. Capsules hairy, 4.5–8.5 cm long; fruiting pedicel 0.3–1 cm long. Seeds 0.8–1.2 × 0.3–0.45 mm, narrowly obovoid; abaxial surface with conspicuous lines of papillae; terminal end with an evident pellucid beak formed from the coalesced bases of the coma.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Epilobium ciliatum Raf.
Exotic: Fully Naturalised1
Exotic: Casual1

Flowering: Nov.–Mar.

Petrie, D. 1902 ("1901"): Descriptions of New Native Plants, and Notes. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 34: 390–396.
Raven, P.H.; Raven, T. E. 1976: The Genus Epilobium (Onagraceae) in Australasia: a Systematic and Evolutionary Study. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 216: 1–321.