Family: Primulaceae
Common Name: Loosestrife, Creeping Jenny

There are around 150 species of these herba­ceous and evergreen perennials, native to Europe, Asia, North America and South Africa. Many are upright and slender, but the genus also includes the well-known creeping jenny, perfect for hanging baskets or groundcover. Some species have medicinal uses in their areas; others are used in teas.


L. atropurpurea, zone 6, from Greece and Asia Minor, grows to 60 cm (24 in), with purple, summer flowers.

L. clethroides, gooseneck loosestrife, zone 4, from China and Japan, has curved spikes of white flowers to 1 m (3 ft) in height.

L. nummularia, creeping jenny, zone 4, is a creeping perennial with yellow flowers. The cultivar 'Aurea' has golden, coin-shaped foliage.

L. punctata, garden loosestrife, zone 5, is a clump-forming perennial which grows to around 1 m (3 ft) high. It has mid-green leaves and, in summer, boasts a profusion of bright yellow, starry flowers. It is at its best planted in drifts or groups and is also useful for growing beside pools.

L. vulgaris, zone 5, from Europe and Asia, grows 1-1.5 m (3-5 ft), with yellow, summer flowers.


These plants prefer a rich, moist soil. Some grow well in shady, damp spots beside water features. Propagate by division in the spring or autumn or, alternatively grow from seed.


There are species suited to various zones. All are very hardy.

Lysichiton      Lythrum