Rosebay willowherb

Epilobium angustifolium


The big purple-pinkish fields of willowherb can be seen while picking raspberries, looking for mushrooms in the forests, exploring abandoned farms and ruins, or simply looking out of a train window. They often grow in such masses that it seems impossible to penetrate a thicket of willowherb. Another factor usually keeps people away from the fields: only the roots of nettles can survive in the dense thicket of rosebay roots. Therefore, only stinging nettles grow with these plants. Their Estonian name contains the word ‘cannabis’ because they grow as densely together as cannabis and they are of the same height. Rosebay can reach a grown man’s chest. Their young juicy leaves are rich in vitamin C and are suitable for using in salads; they can also be dried and used instead of Indian tea. Its roots, which are big and rather thick, have a unique sweet taste. People have ground them and added them to bread flour; they have also been used to make delicious spirits.