Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub. ssp. circumvagum (Mosquin) Hoch

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)


Fireweed is a robust, mostly single-stemmed perennial growing to some 100" tall with alternate, lanceolate, subentire to entire-margined leaves which are strigose-haired on the midribs of the lower surface, short-petioled or sessile, and quite conspicuously veined.  Generally glabrous below, commonly puberulent above, the plant is strongly colonial.  There are many flowers in a long terminal raceme, nodding in bud, and each is subtended by small linear bracts.  The four sepals are lance-linear and tinged with lavender, and the clawed, obovate petals are pink to magenta, rarely white.  There are eight unequal stamens which are shorter than the pistil and mature before the stigma, which has four narrow and elongate lobes and bluish gray pollen.  Fireweed is most often a higher elevation plant, growing in somewhat moist areas from 5000' to 9500' in the San Jacinto, San Gabriel and San Bernardino Ranges, and blooming from July to September. Its range extends all the way to Alaska.  This picture was taken near Lake Arrowhead.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Chamerion 2) angustifolium 3) circumvagum.
Pronunciation: ka-MEER-ee-on an-gus-ti-FO-lee-um sir-kum-VAY-gum.
Formerly Epilobium angustifolium ssp. circumvagum.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.