Epilobium hornemannii Rchb.
Hornemann's willowherb
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #4210)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Epilobium hornemannii
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from short, leafy stolons; stems 10-45 cm tall, loosely clumped, short stiff-hairy in lines below, glandular short stiff-hairy above (in inflorescence).
Broadly elliptic to narrowly egg-shaped below, lance- to narrowly egg-shaped above, 1.5-5.5 cm long, 0.7-2.9 cm wide, finely toothed, glabrous but margins sometimes fringed with short, stiff hairs.
Inflorescence an erect or nodding, terminal raceme; hypanthium 1-2.2 mm long; petals 3-9 mm long, rose to pink, rarely white, notched at tip; sepals 2-4.5 mm long, somewhat glandular; ovaries 1.5-2.5 cm long; anthers 0.4-1.2 mm long; styles 1.7-4.2 mm long; stigmas club-shaped or cylindric.
Capsules, 4-6.5 cm long, linear, green, with scattered glandular and short, stiff hairs; stalks 5-15 mm long; seeds narrowly egg-shaped, 0.9-1.2 mm long, pimply, tuft of hairs white, 6-11 mm long, readily detaching.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Flowering plants with several pairs of broad, withered, persistent leaves at base; leaves relatively thick, margins sharply toothed................. ssp. behringianum (Hausskn.) Hoch & Raven

1. Flowering plants lacking broad, withered leaves at base; leaves relatively thin, margins entire or bluntly toothed...................... ssp. hornemannii

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Epilobium hornemannii

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)
1455 30 2340
Slope Gradient (%)
17 0 85

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

168 5 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BAFA(3), BWBS(1), CMA(2), CWH(6), ESSF(32), ICH(4), IMA(1), MH(1), MS(9), SBPS(9), SBS(8), SWB(2)

Habitat and Range

Wet to moist rocky cliffs, meadows, thickets, and river banks in the montane zone; frequent throughout BC, especially along coast (ssp. hornemannii) to rare (ssp. behringianum), found only on the Queen Charlotte Islands; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to PQ and NF and S to ME, NM and CA; E Asia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia