Purple Loosestrife

(Lythrum salicaria)

Wetland perennial, three to seven feetĀ tall, with up to 50 stems topped with purple flower spikes. One main leader stem, but many side branches often make the plant look bushy. Clipped plants grow backĀ and cut stems readily re-root in the soil to produce new plants. Many areas of the state use safe biocontrol beetles that feed on the loosestrife to keep it in check and allow other plants to grow.

Other names for this plant

  • Common names: spiked loosestrife
  • Scientific names: L. salicaria var. tomentosum; L. salicaria var. vulgare

Ecological threat

  • Prefers moist soils and shallow waters where it competes with native wetland plants. It will adjust to varying light conditions and water levels.
  • Has been widely planted as an ornamental where it escapes to nearby waterways. It is still sold in nurseries as a sterile variety; however, it can still produce viable seeds with wild varieties.
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Moneywort

(Lysimachia nummularia or L. nummelaria)
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Sweet Clover

(Melilotus officinalis)