The willowherb is a pioneer plant. In July, you can find it in abundant patches. They like rich soils and have no preference for shadow or sunlight.;-) The stem is somewhat edgy but smooth. They start to grow in April. Coming out of the ground, the stems have a reddish hue.The little leaves are narrow.
It is easiest recognizable from June through August thanks to the pink flowering. In young stages you can mistake it for Goldenrod, but that one's edible too, so there's no problem there. But you should skin the goldenrod, otherwise it's too chewy. The goldenrod's stems are rounder and the leaves are higher up and don't lay close to the stem when young as with the willowherb.
You can eat the whole plant. Before it's flowering you eat the stems as you would asparagus. If you'd lie to do this,be sure to know where there is a big patch. The buds are eaten raw or cooked, the flowers are edible decoration. The leaves are being used in salads until July included, are cooked or used as a "green tea". In spring the roots are eaten raw or cooked or they are dried and ground to flour that can be used to bind sauces. All #Epilobium subspecies can be used the same way.
The willowherb has antiphlogistic properties and is used to fight prostate problems. A tea from willowherb helps with gastric- and intestinal inflammations.
This is definitely a plant that deserves it's place in your diet, and it is WDBNK.com 's Plant of the Month July 2018!