Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Epilobium L.

Onagraceae, Fireweed family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 347. 1753.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (2–)6–25(–40) cm high; perennial herbs. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems absent. Aerial stems developed; erect. Aerial stem trichomes appressed, or spreading, or retrorse. Leaves distributed along the stems; alternate, or opposite; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles present, or absent; glabrous. Leaf blade bases truncate, or attenuate. Blades 4–40 mm long, 1–9 mm wide, spreading, elliptic or ovate or oblanceolate, flat, veins pinnate or appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade margins entire or dentate (or shallowly sinuate, repand dentate), glabrous; apices acuminate, or acute, or obtuse, or rounded.

Reproductive morphology. Inflorescences racemose; elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels glabrous, or with non-glandular hairs. Flowers per inflorescence 1–4; small, or medium-sized. Sepals conventional; 4; free; 0.7–1.3 mm long; 3–5 mm wide; green, or red. Calyx glabrous, or hairy. Calyx hairs puberulent, or pubescent; non-glandular; white or translucent. Petals conventional; free; 4; pink; obovate, or lanceolate, or spatulate; slightly lobed or undulating; 4–6 mm long; 1–3.2 mm wide. Stamens 8; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers 0.3–0.6 mm long. Nectaries present. Ovary inferior; carpels 4; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous, or hairy; puberulent, or pubescent, or villous. Ovary hairs sparse, or very dense; white. Styles 2–4 mm long; straight. Placentation axile. Fruit dry; a capsule; elongate-cylindrical; black, or brown, or red, or purple; 1–1.5 mm wide; hairy; surface appearing veinless; not distinctly flattened; dehiscent. Seeds numerous; 1–1.5 mm long (sometimes with a tuft of silky hairs approximately 6 mm long).

General notes. The name of the genus Epilobium derives from the Greek words epi (upon) and lobos (a pod), a reference to the relatively advanced (evolutionarily) position of the floral parts on top of the young, pod-like ovary.

Baum et al. (1994) presented a phylogenetic analysis of Eplilobium based on ribosomal DNA sequences.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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