Lythrum salicaria

Purple Loosestrife

Origin Of Species
Asia and Europe
Physical Description
Purple loosestrife is a perennial herb that may reach ten feet in height.  Heart-shaped leaves alternate along the stems.  Pink flowers with between five and seven petals are produced in large clusters during the summer.
Habitat And Distribution
Purple loosestrife is generally found around river and stream banks, pond and lake edges, and many other similar types of wet habitat in every state within the United States except Florida.
Location On Campus
Purple loosestrife is presently not known to be on campus.  It is located in the upper reaches of the James River system, and may be expected to reach the Richmond area.
Negative Impacts
Purple loosestrife can exist in a variety of different climate and soil types, allowing it to spread its distribution range.  It quickly establishes and expands populations, displacing native vegetation.  Purple loosestrife poses a serious threat to wetlands and similar areas with characteristically moist soils.
VDCR Invasiveness Ranking
Highly Invasive Species

Additional Images: Flower cluster   Flowers

Back to common names...   Back to scientific names...   Back to herbs...