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fire weed seed

Fireweed can be harvested as soon as flower buds appear through their flowering season. The plants can be found in full bloom through the month of July. The top portion of the plant can be harvested, snipping the stalk above the point where the bottom leaves begin to look yellow or ratty. The leafy stalks can be dried whole and then garbled when needed. I like to harvest the plants in full flower and dry the flowers along side the stalks as they make a yummy addition to the tea.

Plant Family
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

There is a magic and lightness to Fireweed that lifts the spirit and gives it strength. It is a pioneering species, one of the first plants to come in after the ecological destruction caused by forest fires or clear cuts. Fireweed promises us of the return of beauty and abundance and reminds us we are part of a community. It tells us to pick our selves up, dust our selves off and continue to shine brightly in the midst of hardship and devastation.

Medicinal Uses
Fireweed is rare to find in the common materia medica yet holds promise as a very powerful anti-inflammatory herb. Both the roots and the leaves can be used for this purpose, topically or internally. The tincture has proven effective for pain due to inflammation, such as arthritis, and also for the reduction of migraines.

Seeds are moderately easy to germinate in flats, but are more more successful if direct sown outdoors in fall or early spring.

Botanical Name
Chamerion angustifolium (synonyms Chamaenerion angustifolium and Epilobium angustifolium)

Bees love it and many bee-keepers place hives in the wild Fireweed meadows during flowering season to produce Fireweed honey.

The common name “fireweed” comes from this wildflower’s rapid growth over recently burned ground. The seeds remain in the soil for many years, bursting into bloom when fire clears the ground and brings light to the soil. In twentieth century Britain, this bright flower acquired the nickname “bombweed” because it thrived in bomb craters. It’s also known as rosebay willowherb. Fireweed has become a symbol of the Alaska and the Yukon region, and has a long history of culinary and medicinal use; currently, the slightly spicy petals are used to flavor wildflower honey, candy, ice cream, or jelly.

Life Cycle: Perennial

Color: Pink


Seed Saving: This plant will produce thin 3″ pods that split, releasing silky white fluff with tiny seeds attached. Collect the fluff immediately, since it easily blows away on the wind. The fluff is difficult to separate from the seed, but it does not affect germination and can be planted in that condition. Store the fireweed seed in a cool, dry place.

A symbol of the Alaska and Yukon region, these brilliant pink blossoms also light up the prairie. The slightly spicy petals can be used to flavor wildflower honey, candy, ice cream, or jelly.

Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds

Common Names: Fireweed, Rosebay, Rosebay Willow Herb, Blooming Sally, Blackheart