E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Epilobium lactiflorum Hausskn.
white-flowered willowherb (milkflower willowherb)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14093)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Epilobium lactiflorum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from leafy stolons; stems 15-50 cm tall, often clumped, densely short stiff-hairy in lines below, glandular-hairy and short stiff-hairy above (in inflorescence).
Elliptic or narrowly egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2-5.5 cm long, 0.8-2.4 cm wide, glabrous, margins short stiff-hairy, finely-toothed; stalks of lower leaves winged, 3-12 mm long, upper leaves unstalked.
Inflorescence usually nodding in bud; hypanthium 1-2.2 mm long; petals 3-6.8 mm long, white or sometimes pinkish or with red veins, notched at tip; sepals 2-3.6 mm long, sparsely glandular-hairy; ovaries 2-4 cm long, densely glandular-hairy; anthers 0.4-0.9 mm long; styles 1.4-4.6 mm long; stigmas club-shaped, rarely somewhat head-shaped.
Capsules, 5-10 cm long, glandular-hairy; seeds 1.1-1.6 mm long, narrowly egg-shaped, netted, tuft of hairs white, 7-14 mm long, readily detaching; stalks 2-4.5 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to mesic meadows in the lowland to alpine zones; frequent throughout BC; circumboreal, N to AK, E to NF and S to NH, CO and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Epilobium lactiflorum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 190 1562 2394
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 202 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(18), BAFA(6), CMA(1), CWH(2), ESSF(29), ICH(3), IDF(1), IMA(3), MH(10), MS(3), SBS(3), SWB(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Epilobium alpinum var. lactiflorum (Hausskn.) C.L. Hitchc.
Epilobium hornemannii var. lactiflorum (Hausskn.) D. L÷ve

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References