Range and Habitat in Illinois
Fireweed is a rare plant that occurs in only a few counties of NE and north central Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is more common further to the north in Wisconsin. Habitats include moist sedge meadows, woodland borders, damp ravines, sandy marshes near dunes, remnant bogs, and areas where trees and brush have been removed by fire. This plant is confined to cooler areas of Illinois where the climate has been made more moderate by the influence of the Great Lakes. It is not really a plant of the open prairies, but can be found sometimes in moist meadows. Fire stimulates the germination of this plant's seeds and helps to eliminate competitors, hence the common name.