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Yellow Willow-herb

Yellow Willow-herb or Yellow Fireweed, Epilobium luteum

Yellow Willow-herb blooming at Bedal Creek, photographer Martha Rasmussen

The pale yellow flowers of the Yellow Willow-herb may seem plain to the casual observer but when you take a closer look you will be awed by their intricate beauty.  "Luteum" simply meaning yellow, these soft primrose yellow flowers are found growing along slow moving creeks and streams in the Darrington area.  You will see them growing in clusters often with yellow or pink Monkey Flower.  The stems are erect, 12 to 24 inches high with slender pointed oval leaves averaging 1 to 3 inches.  One to several graceful nodding flowers appear on the axils of the upper leaves.

Yellow Willow-herb growing in the streams of Tenas Creek, photographer Martha Rasmussen

The flowers never open fully, the 4 petals are slightly notched and are close the the same length of the sepals, the 4-lobed pistil notably hangs beneath the petals.  Yellow Willow-herb in the same genus as the Fireweed, begins to bloom in late spring and into late summer in higher elevations.  Some hikes you will find these flowers are Bedal Creek, Lost Creek Ridge, Tenas Creek and Goat Lake/Elliott Creek Trails.  As snow melts in the higher elevations you find them growing in the stream-lets in the meadows.