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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Whatizzit? 2 Answer


Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a native plant that grows in many places in the U.S. It is found well up into the mountains and is a hardy pioneer species, readily sprouting and taking hold in disturbed areas, especially along highways, railroads, and old burns. It gets its name from the fact that it is often one of the first plants to grow in a burned-out area. The tall spikes of rose to purple flowers bloom June through September. Although this plant is a wild perennial, the flowers quickly wither away and are replaced by long, narrow seedpods.
 
 
In the fall the seedpods split lengthwise, releasing hundreds of small seeds, each tipped with fluffy, white tufts of hair. These seeds are readily dispersed by the wind and can travel a considerable distance; the seed hairs have been used as a stuffing material or as tinder.
 
 

2 comments:

  1. I especially love that second photo!

    I remember this plant (as rosebay willowherb) from inner London, where it brought colour to demolition sites. Apparently, it was quite a rare plant for a long time, until the Industrial Revolution (and later, the Blitz) created suitable habitat.

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  2. Thanks, Snail! I should have realized that it might have been found other places; according to Wikipedia: "It is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests." I also like the British name for it, but do always associate it with large disturbed areas around here (Washington State) where there has been logging or forest fires. I find it interesting how various plants come & go over the course of time, depending on the conditions of the land - often associated with human activity.

    Thanks for stopping by & for the comment - LOVE your blog!

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