Feb. 20, 2017

fireweed, Erechtites hieracifolius

I'm uneasy including this image. I failed to make a silk purse here. And its not a flower (go to the blog for that). But if I'm showing what I did that day, these seed heads were next. Charles Millspaugh in his American Medicinal Plants (1892) uses "vulgarity" synonymously with "common name". One common name for this is pilewort. Wikipedia suggests that's because the down you see here could be used as stuffing in pillows and such. I think the explanation is, well, more vulgar. Millspaugh says the plant has been "found highly serviceable in (treating) piles and dysentery". Fireweed is found in open, often damp and disturbed areas in AL, AR, CA, CT, FL, GA, HI, IA IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, NB, NS, ON, PE, and QC. It has been introduced in southeast Asia. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 8/28/15