Formerly considered an Epilobium, Chamaenerion angustifolium is commonly referred to as fireweed. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where it is native, it can be seen springing up in large forest burns. Against a dark background of charcoal, hot magenta flowers, reddish stems, and bright green narrow leaves quickly colonize into thickets. In the garden, fireweed will spread freely both rhizomatically and through its prolific airborne seed which appears as delicate tufts of hairs. It will put on quite the show, dancing above everything at the height of summer, towering around 5 feet tall (or sometimes up to 8!). Seed pods start to appear below flowers in full bloom still topped with buds yet to open.
Mature size: 5-8 ft T x 1 ft W
Minimum temperature: -40° F