Epilobium hirsutum (Great hairy willow-herb)

Great hairy willow-herb showed up near the US-23 overpass over Geddes Pond this summer. I have never noticed it before in the park so it was a bit surprising. This makes me wonder if it blew off a vehicle passing over the bridge or was planted maliciously by an ecotourist that is now banned by the Trump administration. This invaisive plant is very common in Eurasia but was introduced in the US sometime in the 1800 and according to the Ecology Department of the State of Washington web site it is considered “a noxious, Class B weed in Washington State. (Colorado only has Class A weed.) The plant is listed as semi-aquatic which means that it lives near water but not in it. I learned today that it is a relative of Evening primrose that I introduced you to in my last post and indeed it does look like Primrose.

You can’t make this stuff up! According to “King’s American Despensatory, ” 1898, found in http://www.henriettes-herb.com – Copyright 1995–2017 Henriette Kress, despite having “not decided poisonous properties,” the Willow-herb can be used for “certain summer bowl problems,” and it has been found to be effective in a large number of thyphoid disentary and enteric fever. They go on to say that it should be used in an infusion of the leaves as they readily “yield their virtues to water or alcohol.” My guess is that several pints of the latter, especially 12-year old single malt scotch, is most virtuos! Our source, Henriette Kress, lives in Finland so if this doesn’t work out for you – you are pretty much screwed!

Stewart Nelson, 2017, © some rights reserved Stewart Nelson, 2017, © some rights reserved

Stewart Nelson, 2017, © some rights reserved

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