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ROSEBAY WILLOWHERB / FIREWEED : Chamerion angustifolium

Also see great willowherb. index.asp?pageid=732723

You are all familiar with this plant. it may even have popped up in your garden. It is an opportunist and a successful one that can be found during the summer in great profusion in such places as road verges and disturbed land. It thrives in summer as it does well in the warm weather. It is so often the first to come up after a fire, hence its alternative name. This is what it is called in North America, but is sometimes called this here too. In some parts of Canada as great willowherb, in Britain and Ireland as rosebay willowherb. In the United Kingdom it is also known as bombweed, as a result of its rapid appearance on city bomb sites during the Blitz of World War II; the plant is also traditionally known as Saint Anthony's laurel. [Wiki]. The Woodland Ways blog tells us that In Scotland, it colonised the old Singer sewing machine factory on Clydebank and was named locally Singerweed, but this name seems to have lapsed.

The same blog notes that : The plant grows to about 1.2 metres high with long, narrow leaves (which resemble willow leaves)  arranged spirally up the stem.  However it is the young shoots which are just coming out now which are generally used, cooked like asparagus or blanched then fried in butter.

Wiki also notes its potential as a foodstuff albeit with some qualification. The plant is not considered palatable, but is easy to find.[15] The very young shoots and leaves can be cooked and eaten.[16] The young flowers are also edible, and the stems of older plants can be split to extract the edible raw pith.[17] Additionally, the leaves can be used for tea.

By the end of August, to some the official end of summer, there are still plenty of flowers doing well.

But a great many already have their wispy seeds flying in the wind to establish new colonies.

A pretty sight against the sun.

Well into September and the magic isn't over yet. Autumnal colours.

EDIBLE WILDFOOD : https://www.ediblewildfood.com/fireweed.aspx

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaenerion_angustifolium

WOODLAND WAYS blog : https://blog.woodland-ways.co.uk/wild-food/fireweed/#:~:text=The%20seeds%20are%20supposed%20to%20need%20high%20temperatures,factory%20on%20Clydebank%20and%20was%20named%20locally%20Singerweed.

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