Dormant seeding of fireweed-Epilobium angustifolium

wisconsitomJune 25, 2013

I've got a tree farm up north. This year, we planted 6000 seedlings.......that sort of thing. But, there is still a bit of open land, mostly given to Solidagos, asters, and the like. I would like to start a few patches of fireweed-the native version-in this area. I am leaning towards a fall dormant seeding, which for this area is usually sometime after mid-October.

Does anyone here see anything wrong with this plan, aside, that is, from the fact that you don't like fireweed? It is native to the area we're in but as far as I've seen, not currently present on my property. That area did in fact burn in the wave of forest fires following the 1930s dustbowl/drought. But that's too long ago to know if any colonies of this Epilobium arose back then.

In any case, I'd like to get some going. I'm well aware of its colonial growing habit, but this is a big area and I can afford to have it spread.

Thanks in advance.......+oM

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Your plan should work. Make sure to remove weedy competition in the area you are planting though. Seedlings will struggle if there is any sort of competition. Fireweed is a great plant and I'm glad to here you are planting it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Improved Ecosystems

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Thanks Nick. Yes, I look forward to seeing some sweeping patches of this stuff in a year or three. Any tips on the "best" seed source? I may want to cover as much as two or three acres, so some quantity will be needed. So far, I've been in discussions with Prairie Moon Nursery. I'm sure there's about a gazillion other sources for seed of this species.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Campanula UK Z8

you might like to look at the less invasive but very lovely white: E.angustifolium album. Did a spring sowing and about half germinated - will expect further germinations over winter.
I think B&T World seeds will sell quantities and Plantworld definitely stocks this variety (and ships to the US).

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Thanks Campanula. I actually found what I sought right here in WIsconsin-EverWilde Farms. I am definitely after the magenta coloration. Maybe someday, if I get this initial effort completed, I will add in some of that white-flowered variant.

Keep in mind, this isn't exactly "gardening" I'm doing on this land. It's our tree farm/forestation project, with things like the fireweed idea just being fun little add-ons.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:40PM
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