Willow-Herb, or Epilobi-um, L. a genus of plants consisting of 13 species, 8 being indigenous ; of which the following are the principal:
1. The hirsutum, Great Hairy, or Large-flowered Willow-herb, or Codlings and Cream, is perennial; grows in moist hedges; ditches, the banks of brooks, rivers, and lakes ; where it flowers in July. - The young tops of this vegetable possess a delicate odour, resembling that of scalded codlings ; but which is so transitory, that after they have been gathered five minutes, their fragrance is entirely dissipated. - Horses, sheep, and goats, eat the plant; though it is not relished by cows, and is wholly rejected by hogs. - According to BecHstein, this herb remarkably absorbs the inflammable air generated in moist situations ; so that it deserves to be cultivated in the neighbourhood of dwell: on marshes, both on account of such useful property, and its large beautiful purple flowers.
2. The angustifolium, or Rose-bay Willow-herb, is also perennial, being frequent in woods and hedges ; where its rose-coloured flowers appear from June to August. - This species is eaten by sheep, cows, and goats; but is refused by horses and hogs. - An infusion of the leaves produces intoxicating effects; though the suckers of the roots, when properly dressed, afford a wholesome dish. - The inhabitants of Kamt-schatka brew a kind of ale from the pith of this plant, which they convert into vinegar; and the down, with which its seeds abound, has, in combination with cotton, or fur, been advantageously manufactured into stockings, and other articles of wearing apparel: this fibrous substance may also be profitably employed as a material for making paper.