Chamaenerion halimifolium Salisb.
Chamaenerion latifolium (L.) Sweet
Chamaenerion subdentatum Rydb.
Chamerion latifolium (L.) Holub
Chamerion subdentatum (Rydb.) Á.Löve & D.Löve
Epilobium changaicum Grubov
Epilobium corymbosum Rottb.
Epilobium frigidum Retz.
Epilobium halleri Retz.
Epilobium humile Willd. ex Stev.
Epilobium kamtschaticum Lepech.
Epilobium kesamitsui T.Yamaz.
Epilobium pauciflorum Schrank
Epilobium rhexiiflorum Fisch. ex Hausskn.
Epilobium venustum Douglas ex Lehm.
Common Name: River Beauty
Epilobium latifolium is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a thick, rhizomatous rootstock. It produces a clump of several erect to ascending stems that can be branched or unbranched and are more or less woody at the base; it can grow around 10 - 50cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Temperate Eurasia from northeast Europe to the Himalayas, east to Russian Far East and Japan; Northern N. America - Nunavut, Quebec and Greenlnd
River gravels, margins of streams and damp slopes[
]. Moist pebble-beds and gravelly banks of streams and brooks, moraines in the polar-arctic and arctic zones[
Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most soils[
The roots are somewhat spreading and the plant can become invasive[
Young shoots - cooked. Used like asparagus[
]. Very poor quality[
Young leaves - raw[
]. They become bitter with age[
]. A good source of vitamins A and C[
The fleshy leaves are edible when cooked and in taste resemble spinach[
Flower stalks - raw or cooked. Eaten when the flowers are in bud[
The flowers are the largest in the Arctic and can be eaten raw as a salad[
The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[
The core of mature stems is eaten raw. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasant tasting[
]. Very fiddly though[
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency[
]. It is said to be analgesic, antidote, anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, antirheumatic and febrifuge, and is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples[
Seed - sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.