Fireweed

T.J. Martin

Bridgton, United States

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Artist's Description

Viewed 514 Times as of July 28, 2013
Taken June 27, 2010 – Bridgton, Maine
Canon Rebel XSi with Canon 100mm Macro Lens
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Fireweed (Epilobium Angustifolium), also known as Great Willow Herd

Flower: Pink to red; 4 roundish petals, drooping buds, red seed pods point upward. The seeds fill the air floating on silky plume of white hairs; June to September.

Leaves: Alternate; up to 20 cm long, lance-shaped; short-stemmed; July – September.

Stem: Reddish, single, smooth, tall, hairless.

Height: 60-180 cm.

Habitat: Burned-over areas, fields, meadows, edges of forests.

General Interest: This is one of the first wildflowers to grow in areas burned by fire, hence its name. The flowers start to open at the bottom of the stem. By the time the upper flowers are in bloom, the lower ones have developed a seed pod and started to go to seed. The seed pods are distinctive, up to 6 cm long, reddish brown, and angle upward. Each seed pod is filled with rows of downy seeds that become airborne when the seed pods dry and split open.

Artwork Comments

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