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Willowherb

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The fruit on the picture just burst open, is -botanically seen- a capsule with four flaps, and belongs to a "Broad-leaved Willowherb" (Epilobium montanum), a rather common weed. Although the scientific name implies, that it is a mountain plant, it can be found nearly everywhere - on forest clearings, edges of paths or weed vegetations. At friends it even grew beween the tiles of the roof terrace.

The 20-40cm high plants are rather inconspicuous, even though they have pale pink flowers, which look nice, if one looks a bit closer. Its appearence is much more dominated by the approximately 5cm long capsules. When they burst open, the seeds can be seen. Every seed wears a tuft of hairs, so it can easily be carried away by the wind.

Another willowherb species, the Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is known for its ability to multiply explosively after deforestations or forest fires and then coloring vast regions deeply violet.

The specimen on the picture grew between some thistles at the side of a country lane near Kalenborn (near Ahrweiler, germany).


Homepage(2)     Plants(index) by Michael Becker, 2/2002. Last modification: 2/2002.