Epilobium - Epilobium ciliatum

Epilobium - Epilobium ciliatum

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Epilobium generalities

The epilobium, scientific name Epilobium ciliatum, is a perennial herbaceous plant, ground covering, native to North America. It produces a basal rosette of elongated leaves, from which long thin, rigid stems, covered by a thin, ramified, 60-80 cm tall hair stand.
Also known with the name of garganino cilgliato, along its stems grow numerous leaves, opposite in the lower part, alternate in the apical part, have green color and finely serrated margin, often pubescent; in summer from June to September, this plant produces numerous pink flowers, consisting of four forked petals, gathered in apical inflorescences.
To the flowers in late summer the fruits happen: long linear capsules containing numerous feathery seeds, which are easily dispersed with the wind. The fleshy roots tend to spread on the ground, giving rise to a new plant emerging near the mother plant. These plants are very common in the place of origin, and the other numerous species of epilobium are spread all over the globe, some are weeds; many epilobium species were used as medicines in folk medicine.
The Epilobium ciliatum is divided into three subspecies, the cliatum, the glandulosum and the watsonii.
In Italy this species is found more frequently in the north-eastern regions and at an altitude between the basal plane and the 1200-1300 meters of altitude. The Epilobium ciliatum is a typical species of wet and riparian areas but can also be found in the most humid areas of the woods.


Epilobium plants need a sunny position, possibly not too exposed to winds; they do not fear the cold, although often, in regions with harsh winter climate, the dry aerial part and only the basal leaves rosettes remain. For a harmonious development of the plant it is necessary to place it in the vicinity of water gardens, or on the banks of ponds or small ponds, so that it can enjoy a constantly moist soil. Generally they do not need large quantities of fertilizer, even if at least two fertilizations are recommended a year, in autumn and early spring, possibly with a slow release fertilizer.


Epilobiums grow without problems in any soil, quite wet; if grown in a container, or away from watercourses, it is good to remember to water the plant often from July to September, especially during very dry periods.


Generally the epilobium spontaneously self-seed, but if you want to proceed with sowing it is good to use fresh seeds, or collect them for spring sowing, which must take place after placing the seeds in warm water overnight. If desired, it is also possible to divide the plants, by removing a well-developed part of the fleshy root, the new plant thus obtained should be immediately placed at home.

Epilobium - Epilobium ciliatum: Pests and diseases

Sometimes the aphids can completely cover the flowers, and other diseases can occur sporadically or randomly. No particular diseases are reported on this plant.