Oh to write about the rosebay willowherb ...

Photos: Arne Ader
Translation: Liis
Rosebay willlowherb
Rosebay willowherb   Ahtalehine põdrakanep      Epilobium angustifolium
... because the flowering time of the willowherb tribe  (Onagraceae) is brief as  summer and the cylindrical flower candles already have the flowers in the upper third opening. The time of the white seed tufts is not far away any more ...
We all know the light-filled places – forest clearings, burnt areas, road verges - occupied by the beautiful plants with their rose-coloured flowers (rarely we may also find white flowers). The flowerhead can grow up to forty centimetres long, carrying tens and tens of flowers. As a pioneer species they can reach to the breast of an adult man in places and grow very densely. In such mass growth areas only stinging nettles can compete with them.
People have called it põdrakanep, ”elk hemp”, probably because its habitats overlap with those of elks, and of course elks eat it eagerly. Very similar and common species are also:
Marsh willowherb
Marsh willowherb (Epilobium palustre), grows in more marshy areas and the banks of water bodies.
Broadleaved willowherb (Epilobium montanum), leaves with serrated margins; on the upright stem the leaves of the lower part are placed opposite each other, in the upper part alternately; a plant of rather humid habitats. As common in Estonian nature as the rosebay willowherb.
Rosebay willowherb landscape, Otepää uplands




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