Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a flowering plant in the Lythraceae family. It is a large family of plants with over 150 species of evergreen and herbaceous perennials.
Species range from stately plants that are suitable for borders to those that serve as creeping ground covers. The flowers also vary – they can be shaped like stars, saucers, or cups and are available in shades of purple, pink, white, and yellow.
Therefore, this vigorous grower can adapt to various environments, adding color through flowers and/or leaves and quickly filling gaps. Also known as purple Lythrum and spiked loosestrife, loosestrife is native to North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Loosestrife leaves are 5-12 cm (2-5 inches) long and narrow with a cordate or rounded base and smooth margins.
The sessile leaves are alternate or opposite on the stalk. The purple loosestrife inflorescence consists of many showy, yellow, white, magenta, or reddish –purple flowers found in racemes.
Each flower is approximately 15-20mm in diameter, has 5 to 7 petals and a small yellow center. The flowering period is from mid-June to September, depending on the location.