Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)

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An erect, hairy perennial up to 2m high with stout stems. Stalkless leaves growing right from the upright stem and mostly opposite. Showy spikes of rose-purple flowers which appear in summer.


Additional Info

    • Common name Purple loosestrife
    • Scientific name Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)
    • Where does this species come from? Europe and Asia.
    • What is its invasive status in South Africa? Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1a

  • Where in South Africa is it a problem? Western Cape.
  • How does it spread? Seed dispersal.
  • Why is it a problem? It can form dense stands that compete with and replace indigenous species.
  • What does it look like? General description: An erect, hairy perennial growing up to 2m high with stout stems. Leaves: Leaves are stalkless, half-clasping to the stem and opposite. Flowers: Showy spikes of rose-purple flowers in summer. Fruit/seeds: Capsules 5mm long.
  • Does the plant have any uses? Ornament.
  • Plant me instead alternatives

    Waterholly (Senecio glastifolius)