Nature photography from a woman in the woods

Posts tagged “fireweed

Fireweed . . .

fireweed1

 

The flower showing off  in abundance this week is the fireweed.  A common late summer flower in Minnesota, it is flaming in the ditches everywhere (well, almost).  From a distances the flower groups do look like pink/purple flames blowing in the breeze.  Up close, they are delicate looking flowers that are a popular hangout for many honey bees, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects. (click images for full-sized version).  It grows best in areas that have been recently cleared or burned and it seems to thrive near areas of moisture found in the ditches along wooded roads.

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 Fireweed is the only type of fire Smokey Bear is okay with.  In honor of Smokey’s 70th birthday this weekend (August 9th)… Remember.

Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!

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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.
fireweedpatch

Small patch of fireweed by lake.