A page from my great grandmothers native california wildflowers book, circa 1912. She made notes for times she came across these plants. She noted finding fireweed-called here “Willow weed” (Epilobium angustifolium, then E.spicatum) on the Skyline trail in 1914, Northspur in 1920, Lake Almanor and Chester in 1951.
This newspaper clipping was written shortly after WWII and talks about fireweed inhabiting the bombed city of London with its bright magenta flowers, after not seeing it there since the great fire of 1666 which burned through most of the city. Fireweed is native to the northern hemisphere and comes up after fire or other disturbance, hence its name. It is an herb traditionally used for helping the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract, is anti-inflammatory, astringent and useful in cases of intestinal candida. It can be used for sore throats and congestion, with mild antispasmodic properties. As the first fall rains begin today here in northern california , I pray for all the beings affected by these fires. I pray for people, for the land, for the water and salmon. I pray for rejuvenation in the midst of such tragedy. I pray for the interconnected webs of life underneath it all, emerging through the ash and rubble. #fireweed #epilobium