Epilobium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Onagraceae, containing about 197 species. The genus has a worldwide distribution. It is most prevalent in the subarctic, temperate and subantarctic regions, whereas in the subtropics and tropics Epilobium species are restricted to the cool montane biomes, such as the New Guinea Highlands.
The taxonomy of the genus has varied between different botanists, but the modern trend is to include the previously recognised genera Boisduvalia, Pyrogennema and Zauschneria within Epilobium. Chamaenerion, (previously Chamerion), is considered distinct, however, according to Peter H. Raven, who has extensively studied the willowherbs and merges the other segregate genera into Epilobium. Fringed willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum) is likely a cryptic species complex; apparently these plants also commonly hybridize with their congeners.
Most species are known by the common name willowherbs for their willow-like leaves. Those that were once separated in Boisduvalia are called spike-primroses or boisduvalias. Those Epilobium species previously placed in the Chamaenerion group and known as fireweeds are now segregated into the genus Chamaenerion.
Source: Epilobium – Wikipedia