Nature photography from a woman in the woods

Fireweed . . . is not a weed.

fireweedThe fireweed is blooming…. from a distance it is a bright, beautiful brush of color along the edges of the forest, roads, lakes and rivers.  I find them very pretty.  Sometimes I wish I knew who had the privilege of naming things so that I could register my complaints.

Fireweed is a “flower” not a “weed” and it is definitely not the color of fire (it is a pink/lilac color) … so, where is there any logic in its name?  I had to find out more about fireweed ….

My research …(wikipedia – the quick source)

  • It is named fireweed because it is one of the first plants to grow after a forest fire.
  • It is considered an herb and is eatable although bitter if not harvested at the right time and prepared properly.
  • In the past, it has been used as a topical treatment for pus-filled wounds.
  • Young shoots were often used in salads and the leaves in making teas.
  • Currently, in Alaska it is used to make candies, syrups, jellies and even ice cream.  The honey made by mostly fireweed nectar has a unique spiced flavor.

Small patch of fireweed by lake.


2 responses

  1. I think it’s beautiful, too. 🙂

    August 16, 2013 at 7:54 am

    • Obviously, not all plants with the word “weed” in their names are actually “weeds”.

      August 18, 2013 at 9:45 pm

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