Fireweed is aptly named because it commonly establishes in post-fire areas. In some places it would be considered a fire-follower or pioneer species. In the Klamath-Siskiyou fireweed inhabits post-fire areas but is also found in unburned moist habitats, sometimes colonizing large areas in moist meadow wet, rocky talus slopes, or along streams. Fireweed can spread by extensive underground rhizomes, and individual plants can eventually form large patches. It also spreads by seed via wind dispersal. This tall plant can reach up to 8′ tall, with a symmetrical terminal raceme that blooms progressively from bottom to top. The magenta to pink flowers have a protruding style with four stigmas. Fireweed has been used as an edible and medicinal plant by Native Americans and modern herbalists, and the leaves are widely consumed as a tea in Russia. Fireweed is very attractive to pollinators such as hummingbirds, butterflies, native bees, and moths. It is also a larval host plant.
Seed Germination Instructions
60 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to late winter.