Natural Habitat Photographs of the Alaskan Fireweed Flower
Chamaenerion angustifolium, commonly known in North America as Fireweed. It is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests. The common name 'fireweed' derives from the species' abundance as a colonizer of burned sites after forest fires. In summer, rose to violet-colored flowers bring immeasurable beauty to stark landscapes. Flowers have four petals, and resemble the flowers of other evening primrose plant relatives. The petals are so papery thin that they appear luminescent on close inspection. In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, honey are made from fireweed. It has traditionally been used for its medicinal qualities and as a food source.
Unlike most other plants, flowers bloom low on the stem first and work their way up toward the top. The flower foretells the coming of winter season as it begins blooming low on the stem in the height of summer and by the time the blooms reach the top the first snow is said to be following soon.
I love to feature these flowers in my botanical pressed flower jewelry because they are so exotic looking and the petals are so fragile and transparent that the glass colors and metallic reflections shine through the delicate pressed details.