Family: Lythraceae
Common Name: Loosestrife

This genus comprises around 30 species of annuals and hardy herbaceous perennials, found in most temperate regions of the world. Bushy plants, they are useful for the back of borders where the soil is moist and rich. The lovely flowers, mostly in shades of pink or purple, appear in summer.


L. alatum grows to 1 m (3 ft) or more, and produces beautiful, purplish crimson flow­ers.

L. salicaria, purple loosestrife, can be seen growing beside lakes, ponds and waterways throughout Europe and temperate parts of Asia. It grows to 1 m (3 ft), the whole plant turning into a blaze of purple in the summer and then dying back in the winter. Selected forms with flowers in shades of rich pink or rose are more popular and are grown more widely than the straight species.

L. virgatum, to lm, is also more often seen as the cultivars 'Morden Gleam' (rose-pink), `Morden Pink' (magena), and 'Morden Rose' (rose red).


Both annuals and perennials require a rich, moist soil, so are often used around pools or streams. Some species self-seed freely, so spent flower stems should be cut off as flowers fade. Propagate by division.


Zone 3. These plants are very hardy.