Genus: Loosestrife


Jennifer Benner
Loosestrife (Lythrum)
This genus of about 38 species of annuals and perennials is at home in moist meadows and other wet areas in northern temperate regions. Members of the genus Lysimachia are also called loosestrife, but they are in the family Primulaceae . Stems are 4-angled and often softly hairy, while the flowers mostly appear in spikes of star-shaped or funnel-shaped blooms in purple, pink, or white. Loosestrifes are useful in a border or bog garden, but many are invasive and some are banned in certain areas. 
Noteworthy characteristics:  Spikes of purple, pink, or white flowers over a long period. Some are noxious weeds and should not be planted in some areas (see species accounts).
Care:  Plant in any moist soil in full sun. Be sure to remove flowered stems to prevent self-seeding, as the plants can be extremely invasive.

Divide in spring. Take basal cuttings in spring or early summer, or sow seed at 55-64°F in spring.


Slugs and snails may damage new growth, and Japanese beetles may eat the flowers.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Lythrum

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Purple loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria