Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Chamaenerion latifolium
alpine fireweed, broad-leaf fireweed

Distribution: Occurring in the Olympic Mountains and on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and eastern Canada; circumboreal.

Habitat: Subalpine to alpine river bars, gravelly stream banks, snowmelt areas, and seasonally drier slopes.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, moths, hummingbirds


Perennial from a stout, woody crown, without rhizomes, the stems many, simple to freely-branched, erect, 1-3 dm. tall.


Leaves opposite below, lanceolate to ovate, entire to denticulate, 2-6 cm. long, sub-sessile, glaucous.


Inflorescence of 3- to 12-flowered racemes, the lower floral leaves only slightly reduced; pedicels 3-40 mm. long; sepals 4, reflexed, distinct, joined to the top of the ovary, purplish, lanceolate, 10-15 mm. long; petals 4, obovate to broadly deltoid-obovate, short-clawed, 15-25 mm. long, rose-purple to pale purple to occasionally white; stamens 8; style shorter than the stamens, glabrous; stigma deeply 4-cleft\; ovary inferior, 4-celled.


Capsule 3-8 cm. long; seeds with a tuft of tawny hair at the tip.

Accepted Name:
Chamaenerion latifolium (L.) Sweet
Publication: Hort. Brit. (ed. 2) 198. 1830.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Chamerion latifolium (L.) Holub [JPM2]
Epilobium latifolium L. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Chamaenerion latifolium in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Chamaenerion latifolium checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Chamaenerion latifolium information.

E-Flora BC: Chamaenerion latifolium atlas page.

CalPhotos: Chamaenerion latifolium photos.

USDA Plants: Chamaenerion latifolium information.

32 photographs:
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