Epilobium hirsutum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOnagraceaeEpilobiumEpilobium hirsutum


A tall perennial herb of open habitats, including ditches, marshes, the edges of streams or ponds, damp woodland margins and waste ground. It thrives in wet, fertile, neutral to basic habitats, although it can tolerate dry ground. It spreads from seed, or from branching rhizomes which may result in dense stands. 0-365 m (Derbys.), with an exceptional record at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurasian Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 8

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15

Annual Precipitation (mm): 971

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2036

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 795

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12

Atlas Change Index: 0.12

Weighted Changed Factor: 9

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (144c)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Shamsi SRA, Whitehead FH
1974.  Comparative eco-physiology of Epilobium hirsutum L. and Lythrum salicaria L. I. General biology, distribution and germination. Journal of Ecology. 62:279-290.