Epilobium Species, Blooming Sally, Fireweed, Great Willowherb, Rosebay Willow Herb

Epilobium angustifolium

Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Epilobium (ep-ih-LOW-bee-um) (Info)
Species: angustifolium (an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-um) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska(2 reports)

Seward, Alaska

Flagstaff, Arizona

Richmond, California

Saint Helen, Michigan

Warren, Michigan

Crown Point, New York

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

Mercer, Pennsylvania

Lubbock, Texas

Blakely Island, Washington

Bremerton, Washington

Everett, Washington

North Sultan, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Sultan, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 23, 2014, Dean48089 from Warren, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite flowering plants. Yes, it can spread around your bed but nowhere near the degree of Gooseneck Loosestrife and a few others. As the saying goes: location, location, location. Not everything is suitable for every garden! That should be the very first lesson any gardener ever learns.

My soil is heavy clay and it gets quite dry in the summer. Over the years I have amended the soil with organic matter but it is still primarily clay. Very fertile but very heavy. The fireweed has spread throughout the full sun bed in which I planted it, but has made no effort to jump paths or sidewalks in order to spread to other beds. I have never had any seedlings come up anywhere.

The fireweed starts blooming in early June as the Baptisia is fini... read more


On Jun 23, 2013, asturnut from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have a love/hate relationship with Fireweed. In NJ, I wanted to grow it so bad, but couldn't get it to grow for me. Now that I live in Alaska, the stuff is everywhere, so I take it for granted. I allow it a tiny patch in my garden, because it IS a gorgeous flower, but it's a battle to keep it under control here in Alaska. It's SUPER INVASIVE.

It can range from being short (to the knee caps) to super tall (towering over a man's head.) The flowers are a lovely mauve-pink and the fall foliage looks like fire- red, orange, yellow- hence the name. The flowers make EXCELLENT jelly, but the flowers are small, so they're very labor intensive to collect. The plant also is a favorite of aphids, so if the plants are crowded, they get postively overrun with bugs. Fireweed c... read more


On Jul 23, 2012, amelliso from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant was growing in a pot of purple coneflowers that I purchased at a nursery. It is flourishing in a bed on the north side of my house and receives a bit of morning sun, and otherwise is in bright shade. I am staying with 'neutral' for the time being, as I've only had it for around 3 months. We'll see if it's invasive in my area. FYI, I'm in West Texas, and we have temperatures in the high 90's to low 100's on a regular basis, and very low humidity. I'm surprised that it's doing so well, seeing that others commenting all live in such a different environment.


On Jul 19, 2011, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A native roadside plant in the PNW, often appearing in moist disturbed areas (old burns). The seed fluff can be used in weaving or for stuffing. The leaves are rich in Vit C, and be made into a tea. The outer stem fibers can be peeled off, dried, soaked in water and twisted into twine. Very pretty plant.


On Sep 29, 2009, patgeorge from Nurmo,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

A very common roadside plant in Finland.


On Sep 28, 2009, aguy1947 from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, NL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Cutting the flower head is not sufficient as it will produce side-shoots to bloom. Pulling the entire stem eliminates any problem for the current season. Mine lives in competition with wild Goldenrod. I know its 'bloom' status as my spouse reacts to it (respiratory allergy).


On Sep 28, 2009, Poppa39 from Folkestone,
United Kingdom wrote:

This plant grows wild and invasive on any cleared ground in SE England, and probably the rest of the UK..
It is hated by Fuchsia Growers as it is host to Fuchsia Rust which has become a major problem the last twenty years.


On Jun 21, 2009, wind from Mount Laurel, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fireweed, leaves are edible. They are low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol and are a good source of Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese.


On Jul 26, 2008, kniphofia from (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of my favourite wild flowers, absolutely beautiful in drifts.


On Jul 21, 2005, fluffygrue from Manchester,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Invasive in Manchester, UK. You could keep it under control if you regularly pulled it, but frankly, it's quite an ugly plant for 99% of the year, so I can't see why you'd keep it intentionally. (Unless you truly wanted a wildflower garden thing.)


On Aug 24, 2003, pleb from Plymouth,,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Plymouth, England. Definitely invasive in this part of the world and best to keep out of gardens.


On Aug 24, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

It self-sows in abundance in my garden, and also spreads by long rhizomes, and it could be considered invasive. However, I tend to leave some fireweed as tall background perennials and pull them out where I don't want them. Many of my specimens in western Washington reach 7 to 8 feet tall. If the main flowering stem is pruned back once most of the flowers have finished, then more side shoots will form and flower from the uppermost remaining nodes.


On Aug 11, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Fireweed appears from Northern Alaska, the Yukon, and down to California. In Southcentral Alaska, fireweed is a common site in sunnier areas, always one of the first plants to grow in burned woodland areas.

Plants are vigorous here in Southcentral Alaska reaching a height of over 4 feet where conditions suit it. Though the flowers are a pale magenta, some white blooming plants have been found. Pods open in the fall to send off a downy seed.


On Aug 27, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species of Epilobium is commonly known as Fireweed because it is one of the first plants arising from areas that have been burned or bombed.

A pretty wildflower, it can be invasive.