PlantsErechtites→American Burnweed (Erechtites hieraciifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up American Burnweed
Give a thumbs up Fireweed
Give a thumbs up Pilewort
Give a thumbs up Goat Chicory
Give a thumbs up Sparkle Ragwort

Botanical names:
Erechtites hieraciifolia Accepted
Erechtites hieraciifolius Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Plant Height: 24 - 120 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 36 inches
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Salad greens
Cooked greens
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Cooked
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Pollinators: Wasps


Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Aug 21, 2020 9:54 AM

This annual weed is easy to pull up, but it is such a powerfully multiplying plant, just all over the place in gardens and landscapes. The leaves have lots of points along the margins, but are not spiny or hurtful when touched. It loves to sneak in between other plants in full sun or part-shade. It surprises me when suddenly I spot one or a few among ornamental plants. It is native from Quebec & Maine to Minnesota and then southwards. It is in the Composite or Sunflower Family where most species bear composite flowers with both ray and disc flowers in a head. The ray flowers are often colorful and petal-like. The small disc flowers bear the seeds. This American Burnweed or Pilewort bears only the white disc flowers, no rays. Perhaps out in the wild, it might be useful as a food source to some kinds of beneficial insects. I think it is better to not call this Fireweed, as that name goes better with the genus of Epilobium where the species are pretty red or pink flowers that do really pop up after fires.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Sep 27, 2014 9:38 AM

Commonly found in cultivated crops and in gardens. Seeds have attached parachutes that facilitate wind dispersal. The plant will tolerate moderate shade. Needs somewhat moist and well-drained soil.

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