Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Vick, Albert F. W.
Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium (L.) Holub
Fireweed, Narrow-leaf fireweed, Willow herb
Synonyms: Epilobium angustifolium
USDA Symbol: CHANA2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Narrow-leaf fireweed is a showy, clumped perennial, commonly growing 3-5 ft. tall. The erect stems are usually reddish, have numerous elongate, alternate leaves, and end in a tapering spike of rosy-purple flowers. Flowers have four petals and are 1 in. across. The seeds, which are windborne by a tuft of hairs, are produced in slender pods that open from the top downward.
Fireweed is a sun-loving plant that quickly invades burned out forests to form dense masses of color.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
AK , MT , WA , WY Canada: BC
, YT Native Distribution:
AK & sub-artic Canada, s. to MD, mts. to NC & TN, n. OH, n.e. IA, Black Hills, NM & CA Native Habitat:
Dry clearings; burned woodlands; roadsides; low, wet places USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Well-drained, moist to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Fireweed can become weedy in a garden setting. It derives its name from the fact that it quickly invades burned out forests to form dense masses of color. This plant must have sun.
Butterflies, Bees Use Food:
Older stems have been split lengthwise to scrape out the soft, edible centre (pith) and to prepare the tough stem
fibres for making them into twine and fishnets. (Kershaw). The very young shoots and leaves can be eaten as cooked greens. (Niering) Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Plant seeds outside in fall. Seeds will germinate most quickly if soils are moist and warm. Seedlings will flower the second year. Division is another propagation method.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Mid Aug. to Sep.
Seed Treatment: One month of stratification at 40 degrees may improve germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff