This plant grows up to 1.8 meters tall. It has large, showy,
pink flowers and lance-shaped leaves. Its relative, the dwarf
fireweed (Epilobium latifolium), grows 30 to 60 centimeters tall.
Habitat and Distribution
Tall fireweed is found in open woods, on hillsides, on stream
banks, and near seashores in arctic regions. It is especially
abundant in burned-over areas.
Dwarf fireweed is found along streams, sandbars, and lakeshores
and on alpine and arctic slopes.
The leaves, stems, and flowers are edible in the spring but
become tough in summer. You can split open the stems of old plants
and eat the pith raw.
Fireweed is a good plant to know because it is so widespread.
It is especially common in burned-over areas, hence the name.
The leaves are used to make tea.
Some tribes used the fiber from fireweed stems to make cord,