Dwarf Fireweed – Chamerion latifolium

The November calendar from our travels. click on the photo for a closer look at this gorgeous flower with its outstanding green foliage with slight blue tint. Also, it does not have a describable color, just a description: Magnificent.

Dwarf Fireweed
Chamerion latifolium

Photographed along a windswept ridge in a beautiful high alpine meadow. Not only was the view breathtaking, but the washed-out 4-wheel drive road added a sense of adventure. Words fail me in describing the surroundings.

Common names usually applied:
dwarf fireweed, alpine fireweed, arctic willowherb, red willow-herb

Notes from 7 different Ethnobotany books:
Leaves, rich in vitamin A and C, eaten for healthy, beautiful skin.
Flowers eaten raw as a salad.
Leaves cooked and eaten.
Flowers and leaves eaten raw with seal blubber.
Young shoots used for food.
Leaves preserved in seal oil and eaten within 48 hours with walrus blubber.
Young, tender greens, properly prepared, used as a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A.

We saw several of the Dwarf Fireweed in Alaska and the Northern Yukon Territory. In previous years, we have seen it in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and the Sierras in California. The above Fireweed photo was taken near Keno, Yukon Terr., Canada, about 185 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Here’s a photo taken near here. We talked to several of the locals and told them we were looking for wildflowers and photographic opportunities. They all saw our 4-wheel drive vehicle and told us about this 10 mile gravel and dirt mining road up above the valley. They all said “be careful”. We assured them that we were experienced off-roaders. Here’s the result.

Above Keno

U.S. and Canada Distribution Map

Lots more information on Fireweed is available in the October calendar post on Fireweed.
Click here for more information and a comparison of the two fireweeds.

Leave a comment. It doesn’t take too long, and I will know who has visited. Thanks.

Note: If you would like a digital copy suitable for printing, send me an e-mail and I will forward a high-quality .jpeg file to print. Looks best on glossy paper. Let me know your connection speed and I will compress the photo accordingly.



Troy and Martha

About Troy

Retired Scientist and Naturalist. Avid Bible reader
Aside | This entry was posted in Alaska, USDA Plant Database, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Dwarf Fireweed – Chamerion latifolium

  1. Gorgeous photo indeed!

    Perhaps we can take this offline, but I’d be interested in hearing about your camera setup – especially regarding lighting.


  2. Tom Poindexter says:

    Troy, thanks so much for sharing the beautiful flower. I also am interested in your camera set up and the calender. Will there be one for the coming year and if so where can one be found. Thanks so much for sharing your photos and knowledge.


  3. Karla Grimwood says:

    Flaming magenta! Gorgeous! Keep sending these fabulous photos!

  4. Lorain says:

    Beautiful! I’ve always wanted to see the Yukon Terr. Can’t believe this gorgeous flower grows there!! Thanks

  5. Marvin says:

    Great shot of a beautiful flower.

  6. Doug T says:

    Lovely, as always. I’ve just been doing some blog maintenance and linked you in, so I’ll be better about droppinng by now.

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