Botanical Name: Epilobium angustifolium
Species: E. hirsutum
Common Name : Fireweed; Great willowherb, great hairy willowherb or hairy willowherb. Local names include codlins-and-cream, apple-pie and cherry-pie
Synonyms : ;Son-before-the-Father. Codlings and Cream. Apple Pie. Cherry Pie. Gooseberry Pie. Sod Apple and Plum Pudding.
Part Used: Herb.
The native range of the species includes most of Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. It is absent from much of Scandinavia and north-west Scotland. It has been introduced to North America and Australia. It typically grows in wet or damp habitats without dense tree-cover up to 2,500 metres above sea-level. Common habitats include marshland, ditches and the banks of rivers and streams. It flowers from June to September, with a peak in July and August. The flowers are normally pollinated by bees and hoverflies. A number of insects feed on the leaves including the elephant hawkmoth, Deilephila elpenor
Description:It is a flowering plant belonging to the willowherb genus Epilobium in the family Onagraceae.It is a tall, perennial plant, reaching up to 2 metres in height. The robust stems are branched and have numerous hairs. The hairy leaves are 2-12 cm long and 0.5-3.5 cm wide. They are long and thin and are widest below the middle. They have sharply-toothed edges and no stalk. The large flowers have four notched petals. These are purple-pink and are usually 10-16 mm long. The stigma is white and has four lobes. The sepals are green.
Flower/fruit: 1 to 1.5 inch deep pink to magenta flowers on elongated, slender, drooping inflorescence with willow-like leaves; four roundish petals; seed pod contains numerous seeds with a tuft of silky hairs at one end
Flowering Season: Summer into fall
Foliage: Up to 8 inch alternate, lanceolate to linear leaves; almost stalkless
Site: Clearings, open woods
Medicinal Action and Uses: The roots and leaves have demulcent, tonic and astringent properties and are used in domestic medicine in decoction, infusion and cataplasm, as astringents.
Used much in America as an intestinal astringent.
The plant contains mucilage and tannin.
The dose of the herb is 30 to 60 grains. It has been recommended for its antispasmodic properties in the treatment of whoopingcough, hiccough and asthma. In ointment, it has been used locally as a remedy for infantile cutaneous affections.
By some modern botanists, this species is now assigned to a separate genus and designated: Chamcenerion angustifolium (Scop.).
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider