This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Epilobium angustissimum. Narrowest leaved Willow-herb.
Cal. 4-fidus. Petala 4. Caps. oblonga, infera. Sem. papposa.
EPILOBIUM angustifolium, foliis sparsis linearibus obsolete denticulatis aveniis, petalis aequalibus integerrimis, Ait. Hort. Kew. 2. p. 5.
EPILOBIUM angustifolium, var. Lin. Sp. Pl.
EPILOBIUM flore difformi, foliis linearibus. Hall, Hist. Helv. p. 427. n. 1001.
Though the Epilobium here figured has not been many years introduced into this country, it is a plant which has long been well known, and described.
Linnaeus makes it a variety only of the Epilobium angustifolium; Haller, a distinct species, and in our opinion, most justly.
Those who have cultivated the Epilobium angustifolium have cause to know that it increases prodigiously by its creeping roots. The present plant, so far as we have been able to determine from cultivating it several years, in our Garden, Lambeth-Marsh, has not shewn the least disposition to increase in the same way, nor have any seedlings arisen from the seeds which it has spontaneously scattered: we have, indeed, found it a plant rather difficult to propagate, yet it is highly probable that at a greater distance from London, and in a more favourable soil, its roots, though not of the creeping kind, may admit of a greater increase, and its seeds be more prolific.
It is a native of the Alps of Switzerland, from whence it is frequently dislodged, and carried into the plains by the impetuosity of torrents.
It flowers with us in July and August, and being a hardy perennial, and perhaps the most elegant species of the genus, appears to us highly deserving a place in the gardens of the curious.