In low grounds, especially in recent clearings and newly burned over lands, the tall, showy, swaying, magenta spikes of the Fireweed attract our attention during June, July and August, from coast to coast. So promptly and persistently does it follow in the destructive tracks of fire and axe that I have often thought this Phoenix of our woodlands raised its brilliant danger signals as a silent protest and warning against the reckless devastation of our depleted forests. The upright, rather stout, simple or branched stalk grows from two to eight feet in height. The very short-stemmed, alternating, thin-textured leaves are lance-shaped - long and narrow, resembling willow leaves - and are usually toothless. They are pale beneath, and their lateral veinings curve into each other near the edge. The perfect rosettes of tufted basal leaves are extremely ornamental in their geometric formation. The flower has four rounded, widely spreading, pink petals that are broadest above the middle. The four long, narrow, pointed, brownish sepals alternate with the petals between which they expose their entire length. It has one four-tipped pistil and eight spreading stamens. The flower is set atop a slender, silky, crimson or purple stained pod. The buds succeed each other closely and graduate in size as they approach the tip of the curving spike. They are hung upside down, and become erect as the flower opens. The arrangement is loose and terminal. After the flower fades, the curving pod continues to lengthen and when it is ripe it splits asunder lengthwise, grotesquely and every which way, liberating a very fine, silky, webby mass of soft fluffy down to which are attached the tiniest seeds that float away with the breezes. Where this plant occurs in extensive colonies, it presents an unusually dilapidated and bedraggled appearance, which is not improved with the effects of rainy weather. The Fireweed is found from North Carolina, Kansas and California northward to Labrador and Alaska. The tender, reddish green shoots of this plant are considerably used as a pot-herb throughout the Northwestern States and Canada. And it is said that among the tribes of British Columbia the pith of the young stalk is cooked and eaten. The leaves and roots also have some medicinal qualities on account of their astringency. Kaporie tea, a beverage extensively used by the Russians, is made from the leaves of this species.