PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE (Lythrum salicaria)

Europe, Russia, Japan, Manchuria, China, Asia, India

WPL3 Purple Loosestrife, 3 spires in fern bed with spent MeadowsweetPurple Loosestrife and Ash

A wildflower of wet ground, Purple-Loosestrife grows at the edges of ponds, rivers & ditches. Its tall, elegant spires of MAGENTA-PURPLE flowers bloom from June to August. If the plant has suitably moist soil & can reach its full height, it forms a candelabra.


Bees’ Favourite.

Lythrum salicaria is loved by Bumblebees & other insects, including The Emperor Moth, The Pug Moth & The Powdered Quaker Moth.  We try to have as many bee-friendly plants as possible, & the devotion shown by Bumblebees to Purple-Loosestrife makes us wish it could make more of itself here.


Other names: Arroyuela, Blooming Sally, Bouquet-violet, Braune weiderich, Emmets Stalk, Flowering Sally, Foxtail, Grass Polly, Herbe aux Coliques, Herb Twopence, Long Purples, Loosestrife, Lysimaque rouge, Lythrum, Milk Willow-Herb, Partyke, Purplegrass, Purple Lythrum, Purple Willow-Herb, Rainbow Weed, Red Sally, Rosy-strife, Rother weiderich, Sage-willow, Salicaire, Salicaire Commune, Salicaire Officinale, Salicaria, Soldiers, Spiked Loosestrife, Spiked soldiers, Spiked willow herb, Willowweed, Willow Sage, Willow Strife.

Bumblebee on one of three Purple Loosestrife spikes

Best Purple Loosestrife in the Fern Bed

WPL1 - Purple Loosestrife with Bumblebee, Hedge Woundwort seed stalksBumblebee on Purple Loosestrife closeup


Our small stand of Purple-Loosestrife, from a wildflower sale at the Ecology Centre, grows in the damp shade of the Fern Bed. Here at Highbury this plant is trouble-free, suffering from no pests or diseases, welcomed every season by ourselves and our local bees. But it is an invasive species in New Zealand & the US, where it has spread to every state except Florida. http://refugeassociation.org/advocacy/refuge-issues/invasive-species/purple-loosestrife/

Marmalade Hoverfly, Purple Loosestrife

BUMBLEBEE ON purple loosestrife 29 july 2014


















Because of a loss of sunlight last season, with other plants overgrowing it, Purple Loosestrife was dug up and replanted into a container. A much happier Lythrum salicaria is now (July 2020) bringing in the bees as ever.