Herbs & Plants

Epilobium latifolium

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Botanical Name : Epilobium latifolium
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Chamerion
Species: C. latifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:  Chamaenerion latifolium. (L.)T.Fries.&Lance.

Common Names:Dwarf Fireweed and River Beauty Willowherb

Habitat: Epilobium latifolium  has a circumboreal distribution, appearing throughout the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including subarctic and Arctic areas such as snowmelt-flooded gravel bars and talus, in a wide range of elevations.It grows on the river gravels, margins of streams and damp slopes

Epilobium latifolium  is a perennial herb growing in clumps of leaves variable in size, shape, and texture above a woody caudex. The leaves are 1 to 10 centimeters long, lance-shaped to oval, pointed or rounded at the tips, and hairy to hairless and waxy. The inflorescence is a rough-haired raceme of nodding flowers with bright to deep pink, and occasionally white, petals up to 3 centimeters long. Behind the opened petals are pointed sepals. The fruit is an elongated capsule which may exceed 10 centimeters in length.

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Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils. The roots are somewhat spreading and the plant can become invasive.

Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
This arctic plant provides valuable nutrition for the Inuit, who eat the leaves raw, boiled with fat, or steeped in water for tea, the flowers and fruits raw, and as a salad with meals of seal and walrus blubber. Every part of this plant is edible, tasting much like spinach, and is also known in the Canadian tundra as River Beauty. It is the national flower of Greenland, where it is known by the Greenlandic name niviarsiaq, which means “little girl”.

Young shoots – cooked. Used like asparagus. Very poor quality. Young leaves – raw. They become bitter with age. A good source of vitamins A and C. Flower stalks – raw or cooked. Eaten when the flowers are in bud. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. The core of mature stems is eaten raw. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasant tasting. Very fiddly though.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples

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.


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