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Genus Epilobium Family Onagraceae

Description: Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes woody at base. Lower leaves opposite, alternate in flowering region.

Flowers solitary in upper leaf-axils, without bracteoles; usually actinomorphic. Hypanthium up to 4 cm long [or absent]. Sepals 4, not persistent. Petals 4, white, pink, [yellow or red]. Stamens 8. Ovary 4-locular.

Fruit a terete capsule, 4-locular; seeds usually ± obovoid, numerous, usually comose.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 165 species, widespread. Australia: 15 species (5 species endemic, 4 species naturalized), all States except N.T.

Text by J. M. Dalby
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Plants erect2
Plants low-growing, to 15 cm high, usually prostrate9
2Seeds with pale cellular rimEpilobium gunnianum
Seeds without pale cellular rim
                       Back to 1
3
3Stems softly hairy with spreading hairs4
Stems with short crisped hairs
                       Back to 2
5
4Leaves usually >10 mm wide, margins serrulate with 15 or more teeth each side; petals 9–20 mm longEpilobium hirsutum
Leaves to 8 mm wide, margins coarsely toothed with up to 12 teeth each side; petals 3–8 mm long
                       Back to 3
Epilobium hirtigerum
5Inner surface of hypanthium glabrous; fruiting pedicel 15–50 mm longEpilobium sarmentaceum
Inner surface of hypanthium with ring of hairs; fruiting pedicel, less than 30 mm long
                       Back to 3
6
6Petals 3–5 mm long; papillae on seed surface in longitudinal linesEpilobium ciliatum
Petals 3–14 mm long; papillae on seed surface not in lines
                       Back to 5
7
7Glandular hairs present in the flowering region; leaves almost glabrous to hirsute, linear or lanceolate to narrow-ovateEpilobium billardierianum
Glandular hairs absent from flowering region; leaves glabrous except for a few crisped hairs on margins and veins, narrow-lanceolate to ovate
                       Back to 6
8
8Leaves narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, with up to 25 small well-spaced teeth on each side; inflorescences noddingEpilobium pallidiflorum
Leaves narrow-ovate to ovate, with up to 40 small regular teeth on each side; inflorescences erect
                       Back to 7
Epilobium billardierianum
9Seeds with pale cellular rim, not comoseEpilobium curtisiae
Seeds without pale cellular rim, comose
                       Back to 1
Epilobium tasmanicum

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