Hairy willow-herb is a Eurasian relative of our native fireweed that can invade and overwhelm moist areas and shorelines. It invades the same types of areas as purple loosestrife and can reduce wetland and shoreline habitat in much the same way. In King County, Washington, hairy willow-herb is only present in a few locations, so we are actively looking for it and working to eradicate it where we find it.
Legal status in King County, Washington
Hairy willow-herb is aClass B Noxious Weed in Washington State and control of this weed is required in King County according to Washington's noxious weed law. Public and private landowners need to control this plant when it occurs on their land.
Although this plant was originally used as an ornamental, sometimes as an alternative to purple loosestrife, it is now illegal to buy or sell hairy willow-herb in Washington State. This species is on the Washington quarantine list (known as the prohibited plants list) and it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or to distribute plants or plant parts of this species, into or within the state of Washington. It is further prohibited to intentionally transplant wild plants and/or plant parts of this species within the state of Washington. All populations of hairy willow-herb should be removed and seeding should be prevented.