Epilobium angustifolium L.
fireweed
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

Photograph

© David Blevins     (Photo ID #521)


Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Epilobium angustifolium
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

General:
Perennial herb from widespread rhizome-like root; stems erect, 1-3 m tall, usually simple, glabrous except for fine minute hairs in the inflorescence and on the ovaries.
Leaves:
Alternate, narrowly lanceolate, (5) 10-15 (20) cm long, entire or finely toothed, green, veiny below; nearly stalkless.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a many-flowered, terminal raceme, elongating, flowers nodding in bud; hypanthium practically lacking; petals 8-20 mm long, the upper 2 wider than lower 2, deep pink to magenta, rarely white; sepals narrowly lanceolate, 7-16 mm long; anthers 1.5-2.2 mm long; ovaries 0.8-1.8 cm long, densely short-hairy; styles longer than the stamens, hairy on the lower portion; stigmas 4-lobed.
Fruits:
Capsules, 4-10 cm long, densely short-hairy; seeds spindle-shaped, 1-1.3 mm long, surface irregularly netted, tuft of soft hairs persistent, 9-14 mm long, white; stalks 7-20 mm long.
Notes:
Two sympatric subspecies occur in BC:

1. Leaves long and gradually tapering to the tip, nearly unstalked, often less than 2 cm wide and 10 cm long; midrib glabrous beneath....................... ssp. angustifolium

1. Leaves blunt to sharp-pointed (rarely gradually tapering), with stalks 1-7 mm long, mostly over 2 cm wide and 10 cm long, midrib glabrous to hairy beneath.................... ssp. circumvagum Mosquin

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Epilobium angustifolium

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Avg

Min

Max

Elevation (metres)
1181 5 2619
Slope Gradient (%)
20 -5 262

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

186 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
11964
Modal BEC Zone Class
ESSF

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(54), BAFA(54), BG(9), BWBS(1373), CMA(5), CWH(416), ESSF(2998), ICH(989), IDF(543), IMA(20), MH(52), MS(1059), PP(17), SBPS(471), SBS(2470), SWB(331)

Habitat and Range

Mesic open forests, thickets, meadows, roadsides, burns, clearings and waste places in all vegetation zones; abundant throughout BC (ssp. circumvagum more common along coast than interior); circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF, and S to CA and VA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms

Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Chamaenerion angustifolium subsp. circumvagum (Mosquin) Moldenke
Chamerion angustifolium var. canescens (Alph. Wood) N.H. Holmgren & P.K. Holmgren
Chamerion danielsii D. Löve
Chamerion platyphyllum (Daniels) A. Löve & D. Löve
Epilobium angustifolium subsp. circumvagum Mosquin
Epilobium angustifolium subsp. macrophyllum (Hausskn.) Hultén
Epilobium angustifolium var. abbreviatum (Lunell) Munz
Epilobium angustifolium var. canescens Alph. Wood
Epilobium angustifolium var. macrophyllum (Hausskn.) Fernald
Epilobium angustifolium var. platyphyllum (Daniels) Fernald