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Epilobium coloratum Biehler

Purpleleaf willowherb, cinnamon willow-herb

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMyrtalesIncludes myrtles, leadwoods, loosestrifes, pomegranates, evening primroses, many others
FamilyOnagraceaeWillowherb/evening primrose family
GenusEpilobiumFrom Greek epi, “upon,” and lobos, “a pod or capsule,” because the flower is attached directly to the ovary

About plant names...

Cinnamon willow-herb, a North American native, is a member of the evening primrose family.

Identification: This species is quite variable. They have a vaguely disorganized look about them. Plants are 12-36" (30-91 cm) tall, erect, sometimes branching. Stems may be square or round. Leaves may be opposite or alternate. They attach directly to the leaf (“sessile”) or by a short stem, called the petiole. Leaves are toothed, narrow (“lanceolate”), up to 4" (10 cm) × ½" (1.3 cm). Flowers are ¼" (8.5 mm) around, with four white or pale pink petals, each petal with two lobes. The flowers are in racemes—loose clusters—and they appear from July to August. Each flower tops a “stem” about 2" (6 cm) long that develops into a skinny fruit, like a straight bean, about ¹/₃₂" (1.3 mm) around.

Online References:

Epilobium coloratum on delawarewildflowers.org

Epilobium coloratum at Illinois Wildflowers

Epilobium coloratum on

Epilobium coloratum on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Epilobium coloratum on the USDA Plants Database

Epilobium coloratum on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Epilobium coloratum at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Epilobium coloratum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Epilobium coloratum at the University of Michigan Herbarium


Epilobium coloratum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Epilobium coloratum (purpleleaf willowherb, cinnamon willow-herb)

8/18/2010 · J. Harry Rich Woods, off Nod Rd., Groton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 6 × 8" (15 × 21 cm) ID is uncertain


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