Plant DetailShow Menu

Erechtites hieraciifolius is often confused with:
Crassocephalum crepidioides Crassocephalum crepidioides
Lactuca Lactuca spp.
Taraxacum officinale Growing in a field
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Symphyotrichum pilosum In a rocky garden.
Phytolacca americana Phytolacca americana
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis
Erechtites hieraciifolius has some other problems:
Weed Management in Annual Color Beds

Fireweed Erechtites hieraciifolius

Phonetic Spelling
e-REK-ti-tees hi-er-ay-see-ih-FOH-lee-a
Description

American burnweed is in the Asteraceae (daisy) family native to the Americas. It prefers man-made or disturbed habitats(roadsides, railway lines, ditches), coastal areas, shores of lakes and rivers, meadows and fields, wetland margins. It is often found in sites associated with beaver activities causing cyclical flooding and drainage and is a common landscape weed. Population explosions may occur in these habitats after human-induced disturbances or other conditions where competition is reduced, but they generally die back as natural succession leads to less open environments.  

The plant often branches and grows in a clump with multiple stems. This plant grows very quickly up to 8 to 10 feet tall generally on coastal or meadow sites and is resistant to urban conditions.

 Flower heads of American burnweed are held upright, whereas thickhead flowers droop downward. Plants flower in summer to early fall then die after frost. Seeds are wind-dispersed and can produce multiple generations each growing season. This species benefits from fire and is often one of the earliest pioneer species of areas that have recently burned, hence some of its common names. It prefers moist sites but can handle gravelly soil and some degree of dry conditions. It also grows well in urban areas and around humans.

Insects, Diseaes, and Other Plant Problems:  Hand removal of this weed is possible because the roots are fibrous and shallow attached to a short taproot. Hoeing or cultivation also works on small populations.  Large populations can be managed with broad-spectrum herbicides but most single-active ingredient herbicides are less effective. 

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#wasps#beneficial insects#food source wildlife#wind dispersed seeds#pollinator plant#clumping#native annual#annual weed#hairy stems#native weed#bird friendly#malodorous#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#wasps#beneficial insects#food source wildlife#wind dispersed seeds#pollinator plant#clumping#native annual#annual weed#hairy stems#native weed#bird friendly#malodorous#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Erechtites
    Species:
    hieraciifolius
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Oil from the plant is used to treat a variety of ailments.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North and South America
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers are pollinated primarily by wasps including paper wasps, hornets, eumenine wasps, and spider wasps. Other insect visitors include long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, and Tachinid flies. The seeds are wind-dispersed and are used as a minor food source by birds.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Native Plant
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    White
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds are in small, dandelion-like globes (small, wispy achenes) and are dispersed by wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Flowers lack petals but are white or cream-colored budlike and these head flowers are clustered in a panicle at the end of branches.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Seedlings have elliptic leaves with finely toothed margins; midveins are often tinged red. As plants mature, the toothed leaves clasp to the stem. The basal leaves are large. Crushed leaves can have an unpleasant fragrance. 8" long and 3" inches wide leaves are sparsly hairy on the underside especially along the midrib and veins. Lower leaves are lance shaped as leaves asend up the stems the petoles get smaller until the leaves clasp the stem. Pinnate vein pattern.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Brittle stems with a single main stem branching as it flowers upright darker green vertical ridges and round cross section sparsly hairy.
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Predatory Insects
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Malodorous
    Weedy