Alaska’s state flower is the forget-me-not. My choice for the state flower is fireweed. This magenta beauty thrives in open areas. Up close, it stands tall and proud. From a distance, it colors entire mountainsides. Magnificent.
I had never seen fireweed until our first venture into Alaska. When I look through my past photos, my love for this flower is obvious. I have shots of it alone, mixtures of fireweed blended with other wildflowers, and meadows and mountainsides blanketed by this beauty. There is something appealing about a flower that thrives in the aftermath of a possible disaster and is the beginning of new growth for a burned out area. It’s the picture of hope.
Since my introduction to the flower, I have learned this plant also has culinary benefits. Last summer, I tasted it in a natural plant stir fry. I also have tasted fireweed tea. The dried tea in a jar was beautiful, too. Next summer I plan to harvest some to work with in the winter and try it out for myself.