Ingredient highlight: Among the Wildflowers With Fireweed
Tall sprays of magenta blooms swaying in the coastal breeze, buzzing with bees and hummingbirds, against a blue-green backdrop of forested mountains and ocean…
Few wildflowers are more iconic to the Alaskan landscape than bright beautiful fireweed.
As its name would imply, fireweed takes hold and thrives among disturbed and often inhospitable soils. Its seeds and roots are among the first plant life to re-colonize burnt tracts of land after wildfires, as well as roadsides, gravel bars, meadows, and river banks.
Fireweed’s tall, stately stalks can grow up to 5 feet, topped with a burst of vibrant pink flowers that you’ll find humming with nectar-drunk bees and other pollinators throughout the summer season.
From root to flower, all parts of the fireweed plant can be used as a food source. Roots and early shoots can be harvested and eaten in the spring – sautéed in butter and garlic with a texture similar to asparagus. In the summer, leaves can be gathered and eaten fresh among salads and stir fries, or dried and used as a mildly laxative tea. Fireweed flowers can add a pop of color to summer salads or can be cooked down with sugar, water, and pectin to make a rosy pink fireweed jelly. Our friends at Stoked Beekeeping offer an extra-special fireweed honey, made from bees that fed exclusively on Homer’s vast fireweed fields in the summer – it is DIVINE!
Field to face – Fireweed skincare
At Waterbody, we incorporate this gorgeous plant into the Wildflower Facial Oil. We opt to leave the flowers for the bees, and instead harvest the leaves of the fireweed plant, snipping just a few leaves from each stalk to keep the plants healthy and happy throughout their short growing season. The fresh-snipped leaves are dried and infused into rich organic oils to extract their skin-supportive properties.
In addition to being rich in vitamins A and C, fireweed contains tannins; which have an astringent quality on the skin that works to tighten tissues and reduce inflammation when applied. We include Fireweed in the Facial Oil formula to reduce redness, calm acne, and soothe the delicate skin of the face.
The window for harvesting wild fireweed is brief, but oh so sweet; afternoons spent wading through tall colorful stalks, doing the slow meditative work of collecting one leaf at a time while the natural world buzzes around you.
A few short weeks after her bright pink blossoms open to signal the start of summer, the blooms begin to fall off leaving behind long slender seed pods that will burst open to release a snowy down of seeds signaling the inevitable changing season.
Invite the Wildflower Facial Oil into your skincare routine and experience the beauty and benefits of this incredible wildflower each time you lovingly care for your face.