This is a genus of 38 species which are native to many of the temperate regions of the world. The common name "loosestrife" is also shared by an unrelated genus, Lysimachia.

Lythrum alatum Winged Lythrum
L. salicaria Purple Loosestrife
L. virgatum  

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an exotic species that was originally used as landscape perennial. Unfortunately, the species form produces large amounts of seeds which soon spread to wetland areas and ponds. Now, loosestrife is considered a noxious weed that is crowding out native cattails and other wetland species. A beetle that eats loosestrife had been introduced and the hopes are that this critter will help bring the weed into a more reasonable balance in wetlands.

Species Hgt (ft) Flower Stalked
L.salicaria 3-5 No
L. virgatum 2-3 Yes

* Guides and Keys are from the book "Herbaceous Perennial Plants A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes" by Dr Allan M. Armitage of the University of Georgia. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia. 1989 ISBN 0-942375-00. More on Dr Armitage and his other books.


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