Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC.; some sources list as E. hieraciifolia

Common name(s): burnweed, American burnweed, fireweed

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile , NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– annual


-leaves are

  • simple
  • alternate
  • lobed and toothed

-shallow fibrous root system

– two varieties in New England; in wild blueberry fields E. hieraciifolius var. hieraciifolius. The other is endemic to sandy sea beaches and salt marshes; see Go Botany webpage


-man-made disturbed areas

-marshes or flats


-coastal beaches

-meadows and fields


Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 395.

Go Botany. “Erechtites Hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. Ex DC.” Erechtites Hieraciifolius (American Burnweed): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/erechtites/hieraciifolius/.