Plants of Southern New Jersey

Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River & Its Tributaries
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Plant Profile

Lythrum salicaria L.  

purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria
Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. Midwest National Technical Center, LincolnBritton and Brown. See credits below.**

Botanical name: Lythrum salicaria L.
Common name: purple loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria L. var. gracilior Turcz.
Lythrum salicaria L. var. tomentosum (Mill.) DC.
Lythrum salicaria L. var. vulgare DC.
Group: dicot
Family: Lythraceae
Growth Type: subshrub
Duration: perennial
Origin: introduced from Eurasia
Plant height: 3-4', but as high as 10'
Foliage: leaves lance shaped with heart or round shaped base, opposite or whorled in groups of 3 or 4 along stem
Flowers: showy spikes of magenta to white or light pink flowers; 5-7 petals
Flowering/fruiting time: throughout the summer
Habitat: wetlands; can tolerate a wide range of soil and shade conditions
Range in New Jersey: every county
Heritage ranking if any: n/a
Misc.: A noxious weed in numerous states; quarantined and prohibited in several states. It displaces native vegetation and can form a near monoculture, changing drainage patterns, as well as displacing plants that are food for wildlife as well as special concern plant species. Large populations are virtually impossible to irradicate.
For more information, see NJ DEP Invasive Report, p. 73
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USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 581.
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