Flora of Australia Online
Epilobium L., Sp. Pl. 1: 347 (1753), Gen. Pl. 5th edn, 164 (1754); from the Greek epi (upon), and lobos (pod), referring to the epigynous flowers.
Type: Epilobium hirsutum L.
Perennial or rarely annual herbs, sometimes woody at base. Leaves opposite or alternate. Flowers solitary in upper leaf axils, usually actinomorphic; without bracteoles. Hypanthium short but evident or (not in Australia) absent or to 4 cm long. Sepals 4, deciduous. Petals 4, usually white, pink or purplish pink, or (not in Australia) yellow or red. Stamens 8. Ovary 4-locular. Fruit a slender, elongate capsule. Seeds numerous, occasionally (not in Australia) few, usually with a coma of long, fine hairs. n = 18, pers. comm. P.C.Hoch et al. , Missouri Botanical Garden.
A genus of c. 165 species, widespread throughout the world especially in high latitudes and at high altitudes; 15 species in Australia of which 11 are native (5 endemic) and four naturalised.
Hybrids between many species of Epilobium are common.
The author accepts the opinion given by P.H.Raven and T.E.Raven (D.S.I.R. Bull. 87 (1976)) and endorsed by P.Hoch, Associate Curator, Missouri Botanical Garden, pers. comm., 1989, that the formae listed by Haussknecht (Monogr. Epilobium, Jena (1884)) were not intended as formal taxonomic entities. She considers these names to have been used only to assist discussion of an observed range of variation, and their publication to be invalid. However, as this opinion is not unanimous among authorities, these names have been included in this treatment.
H.C.Haussknecht, Monogr. Epilobium, Jena (1884); P.H.Raven & T.E.Raven, The Genus Epilobium in Australasia, D.S.I.R. Bull. 216 (1976); P.H.Raven, Generic and Sectional delimitation in Onagraceae, Tribe Epilobieae, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 63: 326 (1976); K.R.West & P.H.Raven, New Zealand J. Bot. 15: 503–509 (1977).
Data derived from Flora of Australia Volume 18 (1990), a product of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia