Six Rivers National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1330 Bayshore Way
Eureka, CA 95501
FIREWEED FOUND SPROUTING IN RED SALMON COMPLEX BURN AREA
Posted under the Photos Tab of the Red Salmon Post-Fire BAER InciWeb page (and below), is a photo showing a bee pollinating a fireweed plant that BAER specialists recently found growing within a moderate-to-high soil burn severity area while assessing the Red Salmon Complex.
Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) is not a weed, it’s a native perennial. The name fireweed stems from its ability to rapidly colonize areas burned by fire. It was one of the first plants to appear after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.
Fireweed was important to native people around the world. Choice patches of fireweed were even owned by high-ranking families in British Columbia. Tea was made from the leaves. High in vitamins A and C, fireweed shoots provided a tasty spring vegetable. Flowers yield copious nectar that yield a rich, spicy honey. Today, fireweed honey, jelly, and syrup are popular in Alaska where this species grows in abundance.