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Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium)

Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium)

Chamerion angustifolium, commonly known as fireweed, is a robust strongly-spreading, rhizomatous perennial wildflower that grows to 2-5’ tall on upright, often reddish, primarily unbranched, stiff woody stems clad with alternate, narrow-lanceolate or linear, pinnately-veined, willow-like leaves (to 2-6” long and 3/4” wide) and topped by an elongated terminal cluster (raceme to 3-8” long) of open, saucer-shaped, 4-petaled, bright pink to lilac-purple (rarely white) outward-facing flowers with protruding stigmas which bloom in summer (June-September). Flowers bloom bottom to top on each raceme which can simultaneously have seed pods at the bottom, blooming flowers in the middle and unopened flower buds at the top.


Easily grown in organically rich, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers part shade in hot summer climates. Needs regular moisture. Promptly remove spent flower stems to encourage additional bloom and to prevent unwanted self-seeding. Plants spread by both rhizomes and self-seeding (seeds have silky seed hairs which facilitate easy dispersal by the wind to remote areas). This plant can be both persistent and aggressive in garden areas.


Zone: 2 to 7

Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet

Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet

Bloom Time: June to September

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Medium

Tolerate: Shallow-Rocky Soil


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