Front Page Photo
Photo By Jodi Muzzana
July 19, 2006
Ketchikan, Alaska - Those big showy rose-purple spires of flowers
standing taller than Shaquille O'Neal along the Ketchikan highway
and in open areas are called Fireweed - also known as Rosebay
Willowherb. It is said to have been given its name from the fact
that it is one of the first plants to grow after a forest fire.
in the Mountain Point area Monday.
Photo By Jodi Muzzana ©2006
In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made
from fireweed. One of the greatest benefits of this flower is
the excellent honey that is created when bees find dense stands
of the plant and use the abundant nectar. Honey made primarily
from fireweed nectar is particularly light and mild tasting.
Fireweed occurs throughout
the United States except in the southeastern states and Texas.
It also occurs throughout Eurasia and is the national flower
of Russia. Fireweed can be found in great abundance in Alaska
during the summer months.
Fireweed is said to be most
common in disturbed areas such as burned forests and swamps,
avalanche areas, riverbars, and highway rights-of-way. It grows
well in coniferous forests, mixed forest, meadows, thickets,
When the fireweed turns to
cotton (seeds), some Alaskans say there are about six weeks until
winter begins - of course that would depend on what part of Alaska
you live in.
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