Native to Eurasia, but now spread commonly throughout North America.
A perennial that reproduces from spreading rootstock or seeds.
Very common throughout Europe and the United States, this plant commonly grows on disturbed soils, and is particularly evident growing on recently burned timberland.
Fireweed is an excellent pollen source for bees, good forage plant for grazing livestock, and has herbal uses from stems, roots, and leaves.
Stems usually single, and growing as high as 9 to 10 feet tall. Leaves are alternating on the stem, lance-shaped, with slightly toothed margins, and up to 8 inches long.
Flowers open from the lower stem first, progressing upward to the tip. They are brilliant rose-pink to purple in color and “orchid” shaped. Following blossoming the seed pods form as thin, 2 to 3 inch long cylinders. When mature they open and release the seeds, on which there are tufts of fine, white hairs that allow the wind to disperse the seeds long distances.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Not generally considered a noxious weed due to the beauty and benefits. Spreads and regrows from underground rhizomes, making control more difficult.