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Terrible 10 – Hairy Willow-Herb

Hairy Willow-herb

Hairy willow-herb (Epilobium hirsutum)

  • Found in moist areas, ditches and shorelines, low areas in pastures; prefers sun but can be shade tolerant.
  • A semi-aquatic plant that can reach 6 ft high, leaves long and narrow (willow shaped) and toothed attach directly to stem; leaves and stems are covered with downy hair. Bright pink flowers with white centers appear in summer, and long slender seed pods burst to release seeds. Resembles native fireweed.
  • Native to Europe, hairy willow-herb escaped from cultivation.
  • Replaces native wetland plants depriving birds and animals of food and habitat; dense stands can impede stream flow with serious impact on watershed. Spreads aggressively by seed and rhizome.