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

Chamaenerion angustifolium
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© David Blevins  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #521)

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Distribution of Chamaenerion angustifolium
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Species Information

Perennial herb from widespread rhizome-like root; stems erect, 1-3 m tall, usually simple, glabrous except for fine minute hairs in the inflorescence and on the ovaries.
Alternate, narrowly lanceolate, (5) 10-15 (20) cm long, entire or finely toothed, green, veiny below; nearly stalkless.
Inflorescence a many-flowered, terminal raceme, elongating, flowers nodding in bud; hypanthium practically lacking; petals 8-20 mm long, the upper 2 wider than lower 2, deep pink to magenta, rarely white; sepals narrowly lanceolate, 7-16 mm long; anthers 1.5-2.2 mm long; ovaries 0.8-1.8 cm long, densely short-hairy; styles longer than the stamens, hairy on the lower portion; stigmas 4-lobed.
Capsules, 4-10 cm long, densely short-hairy; seeds spindle-shaped, 1-1.3 mm long, surface irregularly netted, tuft of soft hairs persistent, 9-14 mm long, white; stalks 7-20 mm long.
Two sympatric subspecies occur in BC:

1. Leaves long and gradually tapering to the tip, nearly unstalked, often less than 2 cm wide and 10 cm long; midrib glabrous beneath....................... ssp. angustifolium

1. Leaves blunt to sharp-pointed (rarely gradually tapering), with stalks 1-7 mm long, mostly over 2 cm wide and 10 cm long, midrib glabrous to hairy beneath.................... ssp. circumvagum Mosquin

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic open forests, thickets, meadows, roadsides, burns, clearings and waste places in all vegetation zones; abundant throughout BC (ssp. circumvagum more common along coast than interior); circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF, and S to CA and VA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Epilobium angustifolium L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References