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Flower  Rosebay Willowherb

Rosebay Willowherb - Photo © Copyright 2001 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
Need help identifying wild flowers? Checkout the ID chart called "Woodland Plants" in the Nature Shop - click here

Latin name: Chamaenerion angustifolium

Size: Grows to a height of around 110cms.

Distribution: Throughout the UK

Flowering months: June to September.

Habitat: Hedgerows, roadsides and waste ground.

Special features: Sometimes called 'fireweed', because it thrives on areas where there has been a bonfire. The heat from the fire actually helps the seeds to germinate.

In Victorian times Rosebay Wilowherb was a popular garden flower because of its rose coloured petals. It was also one of the first wild flowers to grow on sites in London which had been bombed by German aircraft in WW2.

In early autumn the plant produces hundreds of seeds, each equipped with a hairy parachute. Even a gentle breeze will carry the seeds over a large distance to colonise new areas.

The roots of
Rosebay Wilowherb are edible, and can be boiled or added to casseroles. The leaves, shaped like those of the willow tree (hence the name) can be added to salads. Young shoots of the plant can also be boiled, peeled and eaten. French Canadians in the Gaspe Peninsula call this 'Wild Asparagus'.

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UK Safari Wild Flower Section
UK Safari Plants + Trees Section

 © 2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved