Chamaenerion latifolium

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Chamaenerion latifolium
Chamerion latifolium RHu 02.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Chamaenerion
C. latifolium
Binomial name
Chamaenerion latifolium
(L.) Sweet[1]
  • Epilobium latifolium L.
  • Chamerion latifolium (L.) Holub

Chamaenerion latifolium (formerly Epilobium latifolium, also called Chamerion latifolium[1][2]) is a species of flowering plant in the evening primrose family known by the English common names dwarf fireweed[3] and river beauty willowherb. It has a circumboreal distribution, appearing throughout the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including subarctic and Arctic areas such as snowmelt-flooded gravel bars and talus, in a wide range of elevations.[4] This is a perennial herb growing in clumps of leaves variable in size, shape, and texture above a woody caudex. The leaves are 1 to 10 centimeters long, lance-shaped to oval, pointed or rounded at the tips, and hairy to hairless and waxy. The inflorescence is a rough-haired raceme of nodding flowers with bright to deep pink, and occasionally white, petals up to 3 centimeters long. Behind the opened petals are pointed sepals. The fruit is an elongated capsule which may exceed 10 centimeters in length.

This arctic plant provides valuable nutrition for the Inuit, who eat the leaves raw, boiled with fat, or steeped in water for tea, the flowers and fruits raw, and as a salad with meals of seal and walrus blubber.[4][5] Every part of this plant is edible, tasting much like spinach, and is also known in the Canadian tundra as River Beauty.

It is the national flower of Greenland[6] with the Greenlandic name niviarsiaq ("young girl").

Flower of Chamerion latifolium


  1. ^ a b c "Chamaenerion latifolium (L.) Sweet", Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden, retrieved 2017-03-03
  2. ^ "Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub ssp. circumvagum (Mosquin) Hoch [JPM2]". Washington Flora Checklist. University of Washington Herbarium, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  3. ^ "Chamerion latifolium". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Ethnobotany
  6. ^ The national flower of Greenland: Dwarf fireweed

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