Loosestrife - Lythrum salicaria
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Plants are erect, emersed, much-branched perennials, glabrous to often
pubescent, growing to 1 m tall. The stems are 4-angled. The leaves are
opposite or whorled, sessile, mostly longer than the internode above,
2-10 cm long, 0.5-1.5 cm wide, the base obtuse to cordate. The flowers
are whorled in showy terminal bracteate spike-like inflorescences. The
6 petals are rose-purple, to 10 mm long. There are usually 12 stamens.
Plants grow in marshes, lakes, along river margins, wet meadows, prairies,
and ditches. It is estimated that one plant may produce 2.5 million seeds.
Often populations have spread so aggressively that native vegetation
is excluded. Several garden races, some with larger rose-red petals, have
been produced from this species and are cultivated. It is estimated that
200,000 ha of wetlands in the U.S. are lost annually through invasions
of this species.
Links to more information
Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers