Epilobium angustifolium

(Epilobium angustifolium)
Perennial, herbaceous upright plant, up to 150 cm tall. Leaves lanceolate, glaucous on the lower surface.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

Due to its low competitiveness, it prefers openings and mountainous meadows. It appears scattered but also in groups, from 800 to 1,800 m asl. It is classified as a common plant, as one will encounter it going up to high altitude areas.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

Perennial, herbaceous upright plant, up to 150 cm tall. Leaves lanceolate, glaucous on the lower surface. Flowers pinkish-reddish sprouting from the edge of the stems, many together, creating a flowering “pyramid“. It flowers from June to September. Its elongated fruit splits from the top to the bottom, in 4 valves, during ripening. It produces abundant seeds, which have a mass of silky hairs on their top. It can grow in poor and shallow soils. Abundant in moist, calcareous to slightly acidic soils, in openings and meadows. It is quickly established on sites where natural vegetation is destroyed by natural or anthropogenic causes, in the absence of competition. This ease of establishment is due to the plant’s biological characteristics. It requires light and cannot grow in a shady environment. Having many, very light seeds, equipped with hairs, it is easily dispersed over long distances. Once established, it expands dominating the space through the seeds or rhizomes it creates. Like all species that first settle on bare land, it is not competitive. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, emollient, tonic, anti-diarrheal and hemostatic properties. In folk medicine, it is applied externally, as an ointment, to treat skin problems, also used as a decoction for the treatment of dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome.

Due to its relatively wide distribution on Mount Paggaio, no particular threats and pressures were observed or reported, which could lead to a significant reduction in its population.

Conservation status

LC-Least Concern.

Conservation state

It is not subjected to any national or international conservation status. Assigned to the “LC-Least Concern” category by IUCN, which does not necessarily mean that the species is safe or should not be protected. It rather means that the species “is not in immediate danger of extinction if the current conditions are maintained”.