Presentation on theme: "Hairy Willow-herb Epilobium angustifolium Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see) From the ancient Greek name for Onagra. It was once used for fireweed. It."— Presentation transcript:
Hairy Willow-herb Epilobium angustifolium Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see) From the ancient Greek name for Onagra. It was once used for fireweed. It is a member of the evening primrose family. Genus: Epilobium (ep-ih-LOW-bee-um) From the Greek ĕ pĭ - upon and lobos, pod or capsule. The flower and capsule appear together as the corolla is borne on the end of the ovary. Species: angustifolium (an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-um) Means having a narrow leaf. A tonic made from this willow-herb was used to treat St. Anthon’s (St. Anthony’s) Fire during the Middle Ages. Click here for more information.
Anemone It is called willow-herb because of its willow-like leaves. This is also the reason for other names such as bay willow, blood vine, flowering willow, French willow, giant showy willowherb, great willowherb, Persian willow, rosebay willow herb, spiked willowherb, tame withy (after willow withe), willow weed and willow orchid. Other names are blooming Sally (Sally being a corruption of the Latin salix meaning willow), blackheart, fireweed and rosebay. It has been called wickup, wickop, or wicopy because of its uses in making twine, ropes or woven mats. Used this way, it has the same proto-Algonquin origin as “wigwam” which is a tent made of mats woven from this and similar plants.
Other names: wild asparagus because people ate it. purple rockets, mare's tail and bloom because of its showy flowers. pileworts because of its medicinal uses In Italy it is known as the herb of Saint Anthony In Spain it is St. Anthony's Laurel The connection with St. Anthony comes from the Middle Ages belief that this willow herb was a treatment for Saint Anthony’s Fire, which was a fungal poisoning which came from contaminated rye. This fungal poisoning caused severe hallucinations before the fingers and toes blackened and fell off before death.
Hairy Willow-herb Hairy willow-herb is a tall, erect perennial which grows from rhizome-like roots. This genus is in the same order with the beautiful cultivated genus fuchsia. Hairy willow-herb is a tough perennial which can grow more than 2 m tall with its yellow stems sporting purple flowers in tapered racemes. The slender, erect, herbaceous stems are usually unbranched. They grow from 30 cm to 2 metres tall.
Hairy Willow-herb The narrow, willow-like leaves are alternate, 5 - 15 cm long with entire or slightly toothed margins. There are more leaves at the top of the stems than at the bottom. The leaves are a paler green with conspicuous veins on the underside.
Hairy Willow-herb The flowers appear in long, terminal spikes. The large showy petals are pink to magenta and occasionally white and number 4. It flowers from July to August. The calyx and corolla are both coloured. Bees and moths are the principal pollinators. Notice the cross shape of the stigma portion of the pistil.
Hairy Willow-herb The fruit is a long, green to purple pod opening to release numerous silky-haired seeds. It ripens in late summer. It has not been spotted in Altona Forest as yet but in near-by fields north of the forest. Future location of photo.
Hairy Willow-herb Past uses include: stems for thread or fibre young shoots, which contain vitamins A and C, as a cooked or raw vegetable the root has been used as an astringent tonic the leaves as a tonic for dysentery, diarrhea and bladder problems as well as to sooth a sore mouth (some countries still allow this) leaves have been used to treat hemorrhages from the lungs, nose, bladder, or uterus 1st Nations people mixed the fruit fluff with dog hair or other animal hair to make blankets and stuff pillows. They also used the fluff to help start fires as well as a treatment for infected wounds. it does produce much sap which was used as a syrup by Inuit people. The powdered inner cortex was applied to the hands and face to give protection from cold weather syrup was traditionally extracted from the stems and flowers in Europe, the fluff was used with cotton for making stockings. a tonic made from this willow-herb was used to treat St. Anthon’s (St. Anthony’s) Fire during the Middle Ages. the stems were used as a laxative, an addition to soup and as a substitute for asparagus as an ingredient in some modern medicines which are used to treat asthma, kidney disease and baldness. the flowers were used as an ingredient in jelly Some modern herbalists regard it as an antispasmodic.
Hairy Willow-herb Historical facts include that hairy willow-herb is often one of the earlier flowers in a burned over area. Also, it was one of the first plants to appear in the rubble during the London Blitz of World War II. Pioneer Alaskans used the pith to flavour ales. It is the floral symbol of the Yukon. As will most plants used medicinally through the ages, many of the claims have proven false while others hold promise as ingredients in future cures. Investigations continue in prostate research, antimicrobial uses and more.
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