Onagraceae - evening-primrose family
Research Scientist and Research Institute Director (retired) and presently Honorary Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada
Awarded the George Lawson Medal by the Canadian Botanical Association in 2006.
Awarded the Faculty of Macdonald, McGill University, Most Distinguished Alumni Award on October 18, 2014.
Read his biography "The Real Weed Man" available in print and ebook.
Epilobium angustifolium L., fireweed, épilobe à feuilles étroites
A perennial herb with stems 3 to 9 feet (9 to 27 dm.) high with vigorous underground rhizomes and racemes of showy pink to purple flowers. It has a wide circum-boreal and circum-arctic distribution. It is a native of all Canadian provinces and territories, and in all U.S. states except the southeastern states and Texas. Plants of the arctic, boreal, and cordilleran regions of Canada and Alaska have the chromosome number 2n=36, whereas plants found further south have the chromosome number 2n=72. Fireweed is a pioneer species of recently disturbed streamside and upland habitats and in logged and burned-over areas. Its beautiful flowers can turn a landscape into a sea of pink and purple. It is not considered to be a serious weed problem. Fireweed is the floral emblem of the Yukon. Southern plants of fireweed are sometimes mistaken for purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L. (see photos of purple loosestrife under Lythraceae- loosestrife family).
Oenothera biennis L., yellow evening-primrose, onagre bisannuelle
Biennial, spreading by seeds; forms a flat rosette the first year; stems 2 to 6 feet (6 to 18 dm.) high; flowers yellow; throughout, but most common in the east; pastures, waste places, and roadsides; native to North America.
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