Chamerion / Fireweed
Common Name: Fireweed
Fireweed often grows in spectacular dense patches, producing abundant pink spires from June through August. The flowers provide an excellent source of nectar for native bees and other pollinators. The common name of fireweed derives from this plant’s sudden, prolific appearance following a wildfire.
Nationwide, Canada and the United States, other than the south and southeastern states
Chamerion angustifolium grows naturally in cooler climates and higher elevations, under moist conditions. It can be a striking addition to sunny, moist gardens but may spread aggressively under favorable conditions, so care is needed in smaller landscape plantings. Plants are available through native plant nurseries and seed sources can be found at the Native Seed Network.
Early through late summer
Chamerion angustifolium (fireweed) is well-known in the cooler regions and higher altitudes of the western and northern United States and throughout Canada. In the wild, it is found growing in disturbed soil in cool areas, creating large stands of bright pink blooms. The copious nectar produced by these flowers attracts numerous species of native bees, especially bumble bees. Fireweed also attracts hummingbirds and is a larval host plant for the white lined sphinx moth.
With good sun and decently moist soils, fireweed can become very abundant in a short amount of time. In fact, under favorable garden conditions, this plant can be rather aggressive, as it spreads from persistent underground stems. The upside to this is that once established, this species requires little care and under the right circumstances, fireweed can bloom throughout the summer. Online and local native plant nurseries offer fireweed as seeds, bare root, and potted plants.