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Chamerion angustifolium

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About Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) is a native perennial herb in the Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) family that grows primarily in the Sierras and North Coast Ranges, with scattered locations elsewhere in the state. It is a pioneer species that is most often seen in burned forest areas. After fire or disturbance is can become the dominant species in an area. As trees and large shrubs return, Fireweed disappears. The attractive flowers have four magenta to pink petals, 2 to 3 cm in diameter, and have a resemblance to some Clarkia species. It is very hardy and it said to survive in areas of oil spill. It is not often seen in residential gardens but is useful in restoration projects or to rapidly fill in a large, bare area.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 ft (0.3 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
open slopes


Elevation ?
7' - 13654'

Annual Precip. ?
7.2" - 158.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 5.80"

Coldest Month ?
18.9° F - 55.5° F

Hottest Month ?
40.6° F - 77.3° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 26.30 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers somewhat acidic soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 6.6

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Rarely Used

Common uses
Hummingbird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Epilobium angustifolium|Chamaenerion angustifolium

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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