fire·​weed | \ ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌwēd How to pronounce fireweed (audio) \

Definition of fireweed

: any of several plants that grow especially in clearings or burned districts: such as
a : a weedy annual composite (Erechtites hieraciifolia synonym E. hieraciifolius) of eastern North America having flower heads of whitish tubular disk flowers enveloped by green bracts
b : a tall perennial (Epilobium angustifolium) of the evening-primrose family that has long spikes of pinkish-purple flowers and is an important honey plant in some areas

called also willow herb

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Did You Know?

This is a perennial wildflower of the evening primrose family. Its spikes of whitish to magenta flowers, which grow up to 5 ft (1.5 m) high, are a spectacular sight on prairies of the temperate zone. Its seeds can lie dormant for many years, awaiting the warmth necessary for germination. Fireweed is one of the first plants to appear after a forest or brush fire; it also rapidly covers scrub or woodland areas that have been cleared by machine. It has limited use in wild gardens, where it must be carefully checked and confined.

Examples of fireweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Off in the distance, past the fireweed and haphazard wildflowers, bright flashes of white caught the sunlight. Hillary Richard, New York Times, "Doing the Bump With the Belugas," 11 May 2020 Alpine meadows burst with blossoms and colors including yellow rhododendron, purple mountain heather, pink azaleas, fuchsia fireweeds, and the white stars of the eschscholtz starwort. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Forged by Volcanoes, Kamchatka Offers Majestic, Magnetic Wilds," 7 Oct. 2019 Her peonies prematurely finished their cycle, the summer lilies are flowering and the fireweed is nearly finished blooming. Author: Lauren Ellenbecker, Anchorage Daily News, "9 super gardens will be open to the public this weekend for the Anchorage Garden Club tour," 25 July 2019 Wild greens such as fiddlehead, fireweed, nettle, seaweed and sourdock are also high in fiber. Anchorage Daily News, "Colon cancer in Alaska: Common and completely preventable," 3 Sep. 2019 Fast-growing fireweed and other flowers cover recent burn scars. Nancy Fresco, The Conversation, "Huge wildfires in the Arctic and far North send a planetary warning," 14 Aug. 2019 Observe these majestic creatures from a safe range, and photograph their white coats against the magenta fireweed that blankets the tundra each summer. National Geographic, "Canadian Arctic High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 In Yao’s second piece, The impossibility of being outside, fireweed—an invasive flowering plant—is allowed to proliferate. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019 By midsummer, though, shoots of lupine and fireweed were peeking through the ground. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Ansel Adams in Our Time’ Review: Reconsidering a Mountainous Career," 12 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fireweed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fireweed

1764, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fireweed

Time Traveler

The first known use of fireweed was in 1764

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Statistics for fireweed

Last Updated

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fireweed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on fireweed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fireweed Encyclopedia article about fireweed

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