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Epilobium

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Epilobium is a perennial with tiny pink flowers also known for its medicinal use.

- Growing Conditions   - Medicinal Uses   - Culinary Uses

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You will receive
- 1 Epilobium Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions

All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers

Epilobium
Botanical Name: Epilobium parviflorum

Epilobium is an easy to grow perennial, with a height range between 30 and 80 cm. The green leaves are lanceolate, are without stalks and rounded at the base. They have toothed margins and appear quite long at up to 4-10cm long. The stem is erect and covered with tiny hairs and holds the leaves in opposite pairs. The tiny flowers are pink or purple and appear for two months over summer. The plant is bee and insect pollinated.

Epilobium also goes by the common names, Small Flowered Willowherb or Codlins and Cream. The botanical name is derived from the Greek ‘epi’ meaning ‘upon’ and ‘lobos’ meaning lobe. Together they refer to the position of the petals over the ovary. The species name ‘parviflorum’ means ‘small flowers’. It is native to Europe including Britain, extending from Sweden to North Africa, and from West Asia to India. It is also distributed through the United States and Canada. In these regions, the plant prefers to grow near water, on the banks of streams, in marshes and swamps, or in moist mountain meadows up to 1400 meters in altitude.

Growing Conditions

Epilobium is a perennial, but in cold areas it may be best treated as an annual plant or offered good winter protection. It prefers full sun and is described as not being shade tolerant by some growers, while others suggest part shade is okay. It is a good ‘bog plant’ and lives near water in its native environment. Naturally, it is not tolerant of dry conditions.

All soils are tolerated and it is recommended that soil be moist and well drained, but trialling it as a bog plant seems worthwhile. The flowers appear over summer and they are self fertile. To propagate seed may be sown in early spring wither direct or in trays if the weather is too cold. Plants may also be divided in spring and either potted or planted in the garden. It self seeds when allowed, so plants that disappear over cold winters should be replaced.

Medicinal Uses

Epilobium extracts have been the subject on numerous research studies into the effect of its chemical components. One of the main chemicals is beta sitasterol, although the way it works is under investigation. Many plants in the Epilobium genus are being investigated for their beneficial effects. In Europe, Epilobium is considered to be one of the first treatments for benign prostrate enlargement and urinary tract problems. Since there are no known side effects many medical practitioners consider it a valuable treatment to use before using prescription medicine.

Epilobium species have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Extracts have been used for treating prostrate disorders, bladder and kidney disorders, urinary tract problems in males and females and for general urinary tract health. It has even been suggested as a treatment for bed wetting. Although Epilobium is only recently being ‘discovered’ by modern medicine, it has hundreds of years in folk medicinal use. A tea infusion may be made by collecting the herb when in flower and steeping the leaves in boiling water. It may also be dried for later use.

Culinary Uses

Epilobium leaves may be added to salads and they are said to have an ‘agreeable’ flavour.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.

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