The Broad-leaved Willow Herb is common in most parts of Britain. You find it growing on old walls, in woods and under hedges, and it blooms all summer and autumn.
It is a tall, thin plant, and has small pink flowers with four petals, each of which has a V-shaped notch cut in the outer edge. Behind these pink petals there are four narrow pointed green sepals, and within the flower grow eight stamens with tiny yellow heads. Amongst these stamens you can see the slender pillar which rises from the seed-vessel; it is divided at the top into four yellow rays.
The flowers grow singly, each at the end of a long thin pod which is slightly red in colour. When the petals and the green calyx fall off, this pod grows larger, and as soon as the seeds inside are ripe, it splits open into four strips, and each strip is lined with a row of small brown hairy seeds.
The leaves of this Willow Herb are oval, with pointed tips, and they are cut into sharp teeth all round the edge. These leaves are dark green, and usually they are smooth all over, but you sometimes find leaves which have hairs along the veins.
The stem is quite smooth, and it is red on the side which gets most sunshine.
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