Rosebay Willowherb – the key to our future survival ?

3 Aug

One flower appears in practically all my holiday photos this year – Rosebay Willowherb – epilobium angustifolium, growing beside the beach, along every road and on every hillside.

We’ve been in Scotland for two weeks and had some simply gorgeous weather ! I’d hate to admit it was almost too hot to leave the beach most days but wherever I went Rosebay Willowherb was a constant presence.

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It’s an imposing plant – growing to over 6′ in places and it’s such a shame that it doesn’t make a great garden plant – it seeds everywhere and spreads with fine white underground roots.

Another of its common names is Fireweed, as it is often the first plant to colonise burnt ground. And was known as Bombweed in wartime Britain for the same reason.

Apparently according to my Instagram friend @oldnewvintageandblue Audrey, it’s got great survival qualities – you can boil it up for tea, eat the young shoots ( taste like asparagus) and eat the sappy pith of the stems. And what’s more you can get the fire lit with the dried seed heads !
We might just all need it to survive the apocalypse !

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