Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) - photos and description







General: Tall perennial usually with several stems from the crown. Stems simple or branching towards the top, four-angled. Stems pubescent.

Invasive, non-native, declared a noxious weed in our province. Is native to wetlands in Europe, and it's to wetlands where it poses a risk in North America forming dense populations crowding out native species.

In our city, is invading wetlands via storm sewer outlets, evidence of seed washed there from city gardens. If you're growing this in a North American garden, shame on you. It's likely well behaved in your garden, but it's in the stream or marsh a kilometre away from your garden where it will spread.

Flowers: Flowers showy, pinkish-purple, growing in terminal and axillary spikes. We measured a spike to 40 cm long, and flowers to 2 cm diameter.

Leaves: Lower leaves opposite, lanceolate, sessile, we measured a leaf at 11 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Leaves in the inflorescence are alternate.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm, I measured plants to a height of 150 cm.

Habitat: Wetlands.

Abundance: Uncommon, but where present grows in large numbers. This plant is now common in our home city's water channels and streams.

Origin: Invasive.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos August 18th along a storm channel in the Wood Meadows subdivision in Regina, SK, about 150 metres away from a selfish idiot who's growing it in their garden.