Fireweed is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows 50 to 150 cm high and flowers in midsummer. Its inflorescence is multi-flowered and long-clustered. The petals of its flowers are crimson. The fruit of fireweed is a tubular seed capsule which releases a vast amount of seeds that fly with the help of wispy hairs.
Fireweed flourishes in many different environments like open heath and herb-rich forests, roadsides, clear-cut areas and forest fire areas. As a pioneer species it quickly occupies available habitats. Its area of distribution covers most of the Northern Hemisphere.
Fireweed can be used in many ways in cooking and its young sprouts and leaves work well in salads, tea and can be used in the same way as asparagus. The leaves of the plant contain a lot of vitamins. The leaves and flowers have also been used as medicinal herbs and the wispy hair of the seeds have been used to fill quilts, pillows and mattresses.
As fireweed is a common species that thrives in various habitats, it requires no conservation measures to secure its occurrence.
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