Photographer's Note

The smell of freshly mowed grass gives a strong feeling of summer in the countryside! The fireweed in blossom and the fluffy white clouds enhances the mood…

The fireweed is a plant that is not native in Scandinavia, but today fireweed is abundant in open fields and pastures - the name derives from the species abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires.

Its tendency to quickly colonize open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest clearings, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light, as trees and brush grow larger the plants die out, but the seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years.

When properly prepared soon after picking fireweed stems are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made from fireweed. Monofloral honey made primarily from fireweed nectar has a distinctive, spiced flavor. In Russia, its leaves were often used as tea substitute and were even exported, known in Western Europe as Kapor tea.

But to most of us who don’t eat the plant fireweed first and foremost is s symbol of high summer!

The workshop image shows fireweed in close-up.

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Additional Photos by Pablo Minto (pablominto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9892 W: 315 N: 14432] (53746)
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