Fireweed is one of the plants known for quickly growing after forest fires which is how it got it’s name. The plant is stunningly vibrant and beautiful and can be found in a few parts of the world, usually colder, wetter climates.
It has a tall slender stalk anywhere from 18 inches to an incredible 8 feet tall, with long thin leaves scattered up the stalk until the flowerhead, light purple flowers that bloom first from the bottom flowers then work their way up the stalk to the top.
The flowers are edible, having a flowery honey flavor and can be used to make fireweed jelly, tea, candies or syrup.
Tasting wasn’t how I was taken in by a recent sighting of fireweed in Manitoba’s Seal River area along the Hudson Bay.
I went up north for a polar bear expedition of sorts – okay, call it what you will, but let’s just say that I took four airplanes to head to Canada’s Arctic North to stare at polar bears day after day and quite honestly, I never grew bored of watching them.
Seeing them contrasted in the midst of bright pink flowering fireweed is even more mesmorizing even though it wasn’t in its full bloom when I was there in late August.
Whether we were by foot or on one of the quad-like trucks, we saw fireweed everywhere in and around Seal River Lodge, which is a remote lodge run by the Churchill Wild folks, an area you can only get to by sea plane.
Seeing a combination of fireweed and polar bears on a warm summer day….can a hike possibly be any more beautiful?
They are in their full bloom over the summer months and starting in the fall, they start to fade in color and a powdery white ‘fluff’ forms around the plant.
Since we had a relatively calm day, we headed out on boats to an entire island loaded with fireweed. The name? Fireweed Island of course.
The below shots were taken around Hudson Bay and Seal River as well as on Fireweed Island. Also be sure to check out my extensive blog post on Canadian Polar Bears on Churchill Wild’s Hudson Bay and stunning views from a plane ride across the Hudson Bay.