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Fireweed - Chamerion angustifolium

Fireweed - Chamerion angustifolium

Chamerion angustifolium, commonly known as Fireweed, is a showy perennial wildflower native to Michigan and the UP.  It is a colonizing species whose tiny seeds can drift far on their fluff parachutes and be the first into disturbed areas after fire or other disruption.  It also favors moist areas along streams or lakes.  Fireweed forms colonies by rhizome and seed and may initally need to be controlled in small spaces. However, it can be crowded out eventually if surrounding plants are dense.


Reaching about 4 feet in height (2-6' depending on conditions), Fireweed blooms early summer to fall with a dramatic spire of deep pink flowers.  It prefers full sun to part shade, medium moisture soils, and is tolerant of shallow or rocky soils.  


Fireweed has traditional uses as a food plant and the fluff was used for stuffing clothng items.  It is a pollinator favorite, and the host plant for hawk and sphinx moths.

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