Fireweed grows up to three metres tall. It has clusters of pink four-petaled flowers and long, green leaves growing out of a single tall stem.
RANGE & HABITAT
It is common in open forests and disturbed areas, especially burned sites and ditches. It likes to grow along riverbanks and forests across many parts of B.C., and is very common in northern areas.
Fireweed flowers throughout the summer, and the pink flowers change into seedpods full of hundreds of fluffy seeds. The ground can be covered in the fluff from fireweed seeds.
Many animals eat fireweed, and the young shoots are especially tasty to sheep and deer. Bees are important to pollinate fireweed, and they collect the nectar from the flowers in return.
TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
The shoots and stems can be eaten raw or boiled. The stem fibres are woven into fishing twine, and the fluff can be used for bedding. The leaves can also be put on sore spots to ease aches and pains.
The flowers are sometimes used for gardens, and produce nectar that makes good honey.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk