Lythrum salicaria

Perennial; stiff 4 sided stems are simple or branched. Leaves are opposite or whorled and have smooth edges. Small magenta flowers with 5-7 petals on tall showy spikes.

purple loosestrife flowers

Photo credit: Linda Wilson

loosestrife leaves

Photo credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff

loosestrife plant

Photo credit: Mark Schwarzlander

  • purple loosestrife flowers
  • loosestrife leaves
  • loosestrife plant

Plant Details


Disturbed sites, perennial and seasonal wetlands, marsh and pond edges, streambanks, cananls and ditches.
Mature Height:
Target Audience:
wetlands, state and federal wildlife
ODA Listing:
Plant Look Alikes:
Other loosestrife, Spirea, Checkermallow, and Fireweed
Plant Impacts:
Can quickly develop into a large clump, diameter up to 5’. Can quickly adapt to environmental changes and expand its range to replace native vegetation used for ground cover, food or nesting material. Provides no cover for nesting ducks (Timmerman 1992). Recreational hunting or trapping grounds are lost, decreasing the land value of operational wetlands.
Plant Links:
USFS Weed of the Week: Purple Loosestrife
CWMA Actions List:
volunteer response, contractor response