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Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub
Fireweed, Willow herb, Great willow herb
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
USDA Symbol: chan9
Pink spires of flowers bloom at tops of tall, erect, leafy stems with narrow willow-like leaves.
Often grows in spectacular dense patches, and though attractive, it is aggressive in a moist garden, spreading from persistent underground stems. The seeds are dispersed far and wide by long, white, silky hairs. Bees value it as a source of nectar, and the very young shoots and leaves can be eaten as cooked greens. Recent work at the genetic level has shown that Chamerion, recognized by its alternate leaves, is distinct from Epilobium (with leaves opposite, at least near base), the genus in which Fireweed was formerly placed.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WY Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Throughout most of western North America; from British Columbia east to Newfoundland, south to North Carolina, west to Tennessee, and northwest to Illinois, Iowa, and North Dakota. Southwest from California north to Washington. In
the far north from Alaska to Nunavit. Native Habitat:
Disturbed soil in cool areas, from the lowlands well into the mountains, frequent along highways and in burned areas; hence one common name.
Attracts bees, moths and hummingbirds. Use Other:
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) Conspicuous Flowers:
Hummingbirds Larval Host:
White lined sphinx moth
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2014-03-28
Research By: TWC Staff