Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coastal BC Plants: Fireweed


Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a member of the Evening Primrose family. It blooms in late June and July in our area, and blankets disturbed areas such as logging slashes and roadsides. It's one of my favourite flowers. 

Fireweed is a perennial plant that send up a flowering stalk each year up to three metres tall. The slender, pointed leaves are widely spaced in an alternate fashion and it is capped by beautiful dark pink to magenta flowers.

As summer comes to a close, seed capsules with their white silky hairs make the plants look like a layer of smoke across the fields. But their common name probably comes from the fact that they are one of the first plants to regrow in a burned out area.

Fireweed is also a common plant in Newfoundland. Fields of colourful blooms along the highways brighten the way on cloudy days.

I don't know where the seeds came from, but I even had some sprout on one of my floating stumps in front of the cabin. It's a natural garden that never needs watering because the roots have grown right down into the lake. -- Margy


  1. We have an open area, possibly cleared for a building at one time. It is up by the road and I've toyed with putting fireweed there for some surprise beauty.

  2. so neat the fireweed is growing on your floating logs

  3. That's one of my favourite plants. I love your gardens, Margy. Just amazing work you do.
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  4. beautiful fireweed. Is it related to the evening primrose?

  5. Yes Ann, it is in the evening primrose family and can spread very rapidly. That's one reason it is so prevalent in fire ravaged or clear-cut areas.

    Susan - When I get a Fireweed at the cabin, I dry the seeds to spread the following year. But so far, nature has a better success rate than I do.

    - Margy

  6. Such a pretty flower, I think we have something very similar but I don't know what it is called. Will look it up xxx

  7. Nice bit o nature; didn't know the name.