Lythraceae - loosestrife family

Gerald A. Mulligan
Research Scientist and Research Institute Director (retired) and presently Honorary Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada

Awarded the George Lawson Medal by the Canadian Botanical Association in 2006.
Awarded the Faculty of Macdonald, McGill University, Most Distinguished Alumni Award on October 18, 2014.
Read his biography "The Real Weed Man" available in print and ebook.

Lythrum salicaria L., purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
Persistent perennial; stems 1 to 9 feet (3 to 27 dm.) high; sometimes 30 to 50 stems from a single root; flowers purple; throughout, but most common in the maritime-east, east, and maritime-west; in areas that are temporarily flooded in the springtime when the roots are dormant; it is not an aquatic, not being able to survive if submersed during its active growing period; introduced from Europe. It first appeared in North America in the early 1800s, and has since become a dominant plant in some habitats. Fireweed is sometimes mistaken for purple loosestrife (see photos of fireweed under Onagraceae-evening-primrose family).

Click on a photo to view an enlarged image.
Weed Name Photo Weed Name Photo
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
(inflorescence close up)
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
(flower close up)
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
(seedling)
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
(in field)
purple loosestrife, salicaire commune
(a large stand)
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