Epilobium angustifolium subsp. circumvagum Mosquin, Brittonia 18: 167 1966. (syn: Chamaenerion angustifolium subsp. circumvagum (Mosquin) Moldenke; Chamaenerion angustifolium var. platyphyllum Daniels; Chamaenerion danielsii (D. Löve) Czer.; Chamerion angustifolium var. canescens (A. W. Wood) N. H. Holmgren & P. K. Holmgren; Chamerion angustifolium subsp. circumvagum (Mosquin) P. C. Hoch; Chamerion danielsii (D. Löve) S.K. Cherepanov; Chamerion platyphyllum (Daniels) A. & D. Löve; Epilobium angustifolium var. abbreviatum (Lunell) Munz; Epilobium angustifolium var. canescens Alph.Wood; Epilobium angustifolium var. macrophyllum (Hausskn.) Fernald; Epilobium angustifolium subsp. macrophyllum (Hausskn.) Hultén;  Epilobium angustifolium var. platyphyllum (Daniels) Fernald; Epilobium danielsii D. Löve; Epilobium platyphyllum (Daniels) A. & D. Löve);
Alaska, USA (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington
State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northern Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Isl., Quebec, Saskatchewan), St. Pierre et Miquelon, China (Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan), Tibet, Afghanistan (Badakshan, Wakhan, Kunar / Nuristan, Parwan), Bhutan, India, Myanmar [Burma] (Kachin), Nepal, Pakistan (Kurram, Waziristan, Chitral, Swat, Hazara), Pakistani Kashmir (Gilgit, Hunza, Astor, Baltistan), Jammu & Kashmir (Zanskar, Poonch, Kashmir), Sikkim, Chumbi, Russian Far East (incl. Kamchatka), Japan (Honshu), Tajikistan
as per Catalogue of Life;

This garden plant was seen in the guest house harden at Leh.
Date/Time: 16-09-2011 / 08:15AM
Location: Leh, Ladakh
Habitat: Garden
Plant Habit: Herb (around 1m)

E. angustifolium because flowers are in terminal spike. They are axillary in E. latifolium

I think this must be what was known as E.angustifolium which apparently is often cultivated as an ornamental plant, though would be easy enough for it to have arrived on the wind.  Commonly known as ‘Rosebay willow-herb’ and ‘Fireweed‘ in UK.  Its phenomenal spread in the UK (150 years ago it was a local plant in UK but now widespread esp. in the South) is attributed to the increasing areas of cleared woodland and waste land.  An early coloniser of bare ground, appeared on bombed sites after the London Blitz of WWII.
I have some images of this taken in the UK which I shall post to help illustrate the characteristics of the plant better and avoid any confusion with what was E.latifolium.
Assuming it is correctly identified there have been nomenclatural/taxonomic change. For some time this and E.angustifolium have been transferred to another genus in the Onagraceae family. This is now (according to most sources) Chamerion angustifoliumThe genus Chamerion is separated from Epilobium (most willowherbs in the Himalaya remain in Epilobium) on the basis of all leaves being alternate, flowers held horizontally, slightly zygomorphic,  Whereas in Epilobium at least the lowest leaves are opposite, flowers +/- erect when open.  The change of genus is accepted by senior British botanists.
This species is very common in Kashmir and also Zanskar/Suru Valley (where I observed it in 1980) @ 2300-4850m. Flora of Lahaul-Spiti says frequent amidst stones & boulders.

Epilobium angustifolium subsp. circumvagum Mosquin as per details and distribution herein.


Here with promised images of what is commonly known in UK as ‘Rosebay willowherb’ or ‘Fireweed’.  I advise, as I always do, that these images are of a UK form/variant of a species which is widespread in Europe, Asia and N.America. Such widespread species may, in time, be studied further and it concluded that variants should be recognised as distinct taxa, whether at varietal, subspecies or even species level – thus its characteristics may not match perfectly the forms found in the Himalaya.
Nevertheless, I consider they represent a useful reference for comparison purposes.
The first 5 images are from waste ground between a small wood and an arable field. The final image is of a plant growing out of an old bridge over a small river. This species spreads rapidly colonising by air disturbed ground and all sorts of other habitats. Presumably, the same applies in the Himalaya.
Its stigmas are deeply 4-lobed, becoming downward curved – the same applies to Chamerion latifolium and Epilobium hirsutum (also E. conspersum found from C.Nepal to SW China).
We need all the characteristics which can separate the large number of Epilobiums (sensu lato) found in the Himalaya. There are 15 recorded for Ladakh alone!
The transfer to Chamerion is accepted in the UK.  Just to complicate the matter further, this plant was known as Chamaenerion angustifolium in ‘Flora of the British Isles’ (1962) which was the standard reference when I began studying botany at University back in 1977.
It has been superseded by the ‘New Flora of the British Isles’ by Professor Clive Stace. I have a second-hand copy of the Second Edition (1997) which was cheaper – there is a Third Edition.
In the latter publication this plant is under Chamerion angustifolium with the ‘New’ flora the standard reference these days. I am somewhat “out-of-touch” with developments in British Botany (with my identification skills rather rusty, as until 2015, had not botanised seriously in UK since the 1980s) as have concentrated upon Himalayan flora for the past 30 years.
Given that the UK has a smaller flora and is (and has for 300 years) been blessed with many active field botanists (many ‘amateurs’ in the sense they did not hold a professional position but frequently of professional standard), my approach has been that there is greater need for me to concentrate upon Himalayan flora.


Epilobium angustifolium in FOI : 3 posts by 2 authors.


Ladakh, August 2022 :: Epilobium angustifolium subsp. circumvagum :: ARK2022-141: 4 high res. images.

This was at the Leh resort in August 2022.
Epilobium angustifolium subsp. circumvagum
Requested to please validate.


Awesome photographs.

I have seen this Onagraceae member somewhere in California. But unable to trace the photos from my archives.

Agree with the id.