gif heading Blupete's Wildflowers Index Button

The Fireweed (Large Willow-herb) (Epilobium angustifolium)

The fireweed is of the primrose family. Though it might be mistaken at first with the purple loosestrife it can be distinguished without too much difficulty. Like the purple loosestrife they put out tall spikes of magenta-pink flowers. However, one will not find them growing in wetlands and the flowers (4 round petals) open progressively from the bottom of the spike leaving behind a pinkish hue as the bottom ones drop off. They take their name from the observance that the fireweed is usually one of the first pioneers covering the blacken earth after a fire has sweep through. "The young leaves and stems may be eaten as greens, and the older ones may be made into tea. The roots are reported to have been cooked by the Indians to make a cure for boils." (Griffin.) The Fireweed is the floral emblem of the Yukon.

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Peter Landry

2011 (2019)