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Chamerion angustifolium

Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub

 

Fireweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMyrtalesIncludes myrtles, leadwoods, loosestrifes, pomegranates, evening primroses, many others
FamilyOnagraceaeWillowherb/evening primrose family
GenusChamerionFrom the Greek chamai, “dwarf,” and nerion, “oleander,” this is apparently a name that has replaced the invalid name Chamaenerion published by Seguier in 1754
SpeciesangustifoliumHaving narrow foliage

About plant names...

Fireweed is a North American native plant. It is a robust colonizer of newly exposed land, such as that left behind from forest fires, and can carpet huge areas with its brilliant pink flowers.

Identification: Plants reach 20-98" (50-250 cm) in height, with a single, erect stem that reddens later in the season, sometimes branching to multiple flower spikes. Spikes are 4-10" (10-25 cm) long, with pink flowers about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter, each with four petals. Leaves have smooth edges, and are long and narrow, tapering to sharp tips. The leaf veins form distinctive circular loops. Seed pods are reddish-brown, about 1½" (3.8 cm) long, splitting and curling when dry to expose silken fibers and about 80,000 seeds per plant.

Edibility: Although young shoots and flowers are edible, young plants are easily confused with several highly toxic members of the lily family, so we don’t recommend that you experiment.

Online References:

Chamerion angustifolium at Illinois Wildflowers

Chamerion angustifolium at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Chamerion angustifolium on troymullens.wordpress.com

Chamerion angustifolium on Wikipedia

Chamerion angustifolium at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Chamerion angustifolium on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Chamerion angustifolium on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/26/2007 · Fogarty Creek, Lincoln City, OR
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

9/27/2013 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/16/2014 · White Mountains, NH
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm) ID is dubious

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 21 × 24" (52 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

9/1/2007 · Mt. St. Helens, WA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/2/2008 · Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/16/2014 · White Mountains, NH
≈ 4 × 4" (10 × 10 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/25/2007 · Tillamook State Forest, OR
≈ 12 × 8" (29 × 19 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/16/2014 · White Mountains, NH
≈ 10 × 15" (25 × 37 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/16/2014 · White Mountains, NH
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

8/16/2014 · White Mountains, NH
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 12 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

9/2/2007 · OR
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

9/20/2009 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 7 × 10" (17 × 26 cm)

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)

9/27/2013 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Range:

About this map...