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alaskan fireweed seeds

Collection restrictions or guidelines – none

Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?) – Seeds are nondormant and germinate over a variety of temperatures. Most of the newly collected seeds germinate within 10 days.

Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life) – One plant of fireweed can produce about 80,000 seeds per year! The seedbank of fireweed is not long-lived. Most seeds lose viability after 18-24 months. The seed hairs (plume) respond to humidity. As humidity increases, the plume diameter decreases, resulting in a reduced loft. This increases the chance that seeds are deposited in places with moisture adequate for germination.

Recommended seed storage conditions – Seed can be stored for up to 24 months in dry conditions.

Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.) – While seed production is very high, fireweed reproduces predominately through vegetative means. Cuttings and seeds are both effective means to plant fireweed. Optimum seed germinating conditions are warm, well-lighted, and humid. This plant is very aggressive!

Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?) – Fireweed may be grown in well-drained, moist soil but they establish best with the addition of fertilizer. They grow best in full sun, but will tolerate some shade.

Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost) – Seeds or cuttings. Root cuttings should be planted 5 cm deep.

Recommended planting density – If you absolutely want to grow fireweed, I would recommend that you do not grow very much (just a few cuttings). Due to its rapid reproduction rate, it is sure to spread.

Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.) – Moderate to no watering after it is established.

Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan – While fireweed is grown as an ornamental, it can become an aggressive weed since it reproduces by both seed and rhizome.

Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver, British Columbia.

Jacobson, A.L. 2001. Wild plants of Greater Seattle: A field guide to native and naturalized plants of the Seattle area. Arthur Lee Jacobson Publisher. Seattle, Washington.

USDA, FEIS 2002. www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/epiang/

Data compiled by (student name and date) – Daniela Shebitz – April 16, 2003

Collection restrictions or guidelines – none Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?) – Seeds are nondormant and germinate over a variety of temperatures. Most of the newly collected seeds