Perennial forb growing from spreading root stocks. Forms stout, erect stems 1 to 6 ft tall, occasionally 9 ft, that are often reddish in color.
4 to 8 inches long, lance shaped, deep green above, paler beneath with conspicuous veins on lower surface. Leaf margins may be minutely toothed.
Magenta, deep pink or rose-colored (rarely white) flowers with petals that are egg-shaped and 1/3 to 3/4 in long. Multiple flowers grow on long, leafy stems.
June to September.
Found in moist to dry disturbed areas, including clearings, roadsides, and recently burned sites. Also found in meadows, thickets, avalanche tracks, and along river bars. Grows in low to high elevations.
Attracts bees, flies, other insects, and hummingbirds. Oregon Bee Atlas participants have documented many genera and species of native bees from fireweed including 5 species of bumble bees.