> The fireweed in my area goes to seed in phases. In fact, I think I have never seen a fireweed plant in full seed, but always with some seed, bloom and bud (which may or may not actually mature). It is darkly pink and rarely gets much more than three or four feet in height. Here, it's the Devil's Club that easily reaches seven and eight foot heights!
Now that is very interesting about the fireweed going to seed in phases. Ours is about 7 feet to 9 feet tall. I know that because I had to pull the plant down to gather the seeds from the top down and I know it was way way over my head.
Our fireweed blooms all summer long, beginning probably about the beginning of July and going right through until the middle of October or so. It does not go to seed until this total end of season. I have never seen it in seed until the end frost kill. Then when it does, man you should see it. the 9 foot plants are fluff from the top right down to the bottom.
I never took a picture of the fireweed when it has gone to seed, but I should have, will next year. It was an amazing sight.
Wooooooah!!!! The devil's club. I had forgotten all about that monsterous Devil's Club...yikers!!! What a plant!!!
When we were kids my brother and sister and friends always played in our bushes behind our house. We all lived on acreage and it was fun to live in the bush as much as we did. Playing all day long building forts and just doing the fun things that kids do when they play. Ya, the days of childhood.
There were low spots in our bushes in these low spots grew the horrible thorny and scary Devil's Club. I don't know what we thought, but we were sure that bad things lived within the Devil's Club clumps. We never ventured close enough to ever get a thorn, but we would stand and try to see what was within. Something must have lived in there, we thought that for sure. Why else would there be such a fortress of formidable thorns such as this plant possesses. (now that word had alot of eses). This Devil's Club that grew in our bush was not the size that you say that yours are in Alaska. I would say from the cobwebs of my mind that these bush clumbs were about 5 feet tall tops. But took up alot of room in that low spot in the forest.
Now I grow something that is very similar to my memory of the Devil's Club. It is called Gunnera Manicata. It is incredibly enormous, looks almost like a rhubarb plant from outer space, but with the same thorns as the Devil's Club all up and down the stalks and along the veins on the underside of the leaves. In the summertime I would say somoe of the leaves of these gunnera plants could be more than 10 feet wide and the plant and leaves reach probably 12-15 feet in height. I have divided this monster several times and it seems the more you divide the more you have to divide, because then you are dividing the divides. It gets what I will call "flowers" that grow up from the roots inbetween the massive leaves and stalks that look like an enormous red rounded cone. This cone is about 4-5 feet tall and is about 8 inches in diameter. Can't figure out the purpose of that, but it is remarkable. Gunnera is really a very large plant that requires lots of room and bog, it loves moisture. We are lucky in that we have moisture here a plenty. During summertime, I am hard pressed if I have to water all my gardens (including vegetables), more than may 2 or 3 times during the entire growing season. We have lots of sunshine, but such a high water table from the winter time of rain and more rain, that even in summer there is still lots of water not too terribly far below the surface of the soil.
Next year I will be taking better pictures of some of these monster plants that grow around here.
Oh rats!! Rambling again, I think that is one of my passions. Great day. Cindi