Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weeds of the Balcony, Not-Quite-Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day Edition

Inspired by this tweet, not quite in time for Wordless Wednesday or Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, here it is, the "weed" that's been enchanting me these past couple of days: Willowherb (Epilobium, genus that includes Fireweed).

I only noticed it when its tiny, pink flowers started opening this past weekend. Each flower is less than 1/4" across, with four bilobed petals. They're arranged in racemes, on long-ish opposite pedicels that emerge from leaf axils.

I think the flowers may be opening and closing in response to how much sun there is. It looks like there are four stamens in each flower, but they're too tiny to see with the naked eye and my pseudo-macro photography-fu is failing me.

Leaves are opposite, dentate with short, short petioles at less than 1/8" long. Lower on the plant, branches appear to emerge from leaf axils.I guess they'd be called suckers if you were talking about tomato plants.

I've yet to figure out the species. It is well-behaved (so far) and quite small at no more than 9 inches tall. Some species of Epilobium can be weedy apparently, propagating abundantly via rhizomes and/or fluffy seeds.

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