Ubiquitous and appealing, hardy and healing, fireweed is Alaska's native plant species superstar Community features

Almost every state takes a month to celebrate their native plants. In the Lower 48, that month is April. For obvious reasons, this doesn't work so well in Alaska. Beginning in 2023, May will be the official month to celebrate Alaska's native plants, according to the Governor's formal proclamation.

This year, the Alaska Native Plant Society has decided to also celebrate a native plant of the year. With over 2,500 plant species native to Alaska, choosing one wasn't easy. Should we have held an election for write-in candidates? Then ranked choice? Well, this year a small committee…drumroll…picked fireweed.

Beth Baker is an Eagle River resident and serves on the Alaska Native Plant Society Board of Directors and the Alaska Native Plant Month Planning Committee.

Anna Harden

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