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Lythrum salicaria

Lythrum salicaria or Purple Loosestrife is known by many other names, in fact, one of the longer lists of common names I have come across: Black Blood, Spiked Loosestrife, Purple Lythrum, Long Purples, Purple Grass, Rainbow Weed, Red Sally, Rose Loosestrife, Rosy Strip, Sage Willow, Soldiers, Spiked Loosestrife or Willow Weed. It is from the Lythraceae family of plants.

Lythrum salicaria
Lythrum salicaria

Lythrum salicaria is a herbaceous perennial. It naturally grows on banks of streams or around water. It is native to Europe, Asia, northwest Africa, and Southeastern Australia. Lythrum salicaria grows from 1m to 2m or 3 to 7ft tall. It grows into colonies and therefore it could create a strong impact on the color of the landscape.

Lythrum salicaria flowers are reddish-purple and clustered. It produces three different types of flowers with different length stamens. Each flower type can only be pollinated by the other types. The flowers are pollinated by butterflies, bees, and other long-tongued insects. It flowers over a long period in the summer.

Lythrum salicaria
Lythrum salicaria at Kew Garden, London

They use Lythrum salicaria for medicinal purposes, mostly as an astringent or to treat diarrhea. But it is also a popular ornamental flower in many gardens, especially in borders or wildlife gardens.

How to grow Lythrum salicaria:

Grow Lythrum salicaria in the sun. It will probably do fine in any type of soil. Lythrum salicaria is used in poorly drained soil. Propagate by division in spring. It is self-seeding. Deadhead flowers after flowering to stop self-seeding. Watch out for slugs and snails. Lythrum salicaria is disease-free.

Also read about Lythrum virgatum ‘Dropmore Purple’

About Online Flower Garden & Dino

I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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