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[fahyuh r-weed] /ˈfaɪərˌwid/
any of various plants appearing in recently burned clearings, as the willow herb, Epilobium angustifolium.
Origin of fireweed
An Americanism dating back to 1775-85; fire + weed1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fireweed
Historical Examples
  • There were great fields of fireweed, which presented masses of pink.

    Canoeing in the wilderness Henry David Thoreau
  • fireweed grew low, but the blooms were large and of a deep rose color.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • The fireweed, familiar everywhere in the mountains, shone like a tongue of flame against a background of green.

    Jack the Young Canoeman

    George Bird Grinnell
  • The fireweed is cultivated as an ornamental plant in England, where the leaves are also used as an adulterant of tea.

    Flowers of Mountain and Plain Edith S. Clements
  • Here and there were wooded slopes; others were rosy with fireweed that moved softly, like clouds.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • Along the roadside and meadows purplish-pink flowers of the fireweed are in bloom.

    Woodcraft Alan Douglas
  • Floating in nebulous masses about the blackberry thicket, the delicately conspicuous hue of the fireweed catches the eye.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • And everywhere in the burnt areas was the fireweed, that phœnix plant that springs up from the ashes of dead trees.

    Tenting To-night Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for fireweed


any of various plants that appear as first vegetation in burnt-over areas, esp rosebay willowherb
Also called pilewort. a weedy North American plant, Erechtites hieracifolia, having small white or greenish flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
an Australian rainforest tree, Stenocarpus sinuatus, having whorls of bright red flowers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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