Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Lythrum californicum


California loosestrife, Purple loosestrife


Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)



Lythrum californicum (California loosestrife)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Purple loosestrife grows to 5 feet tall. The alternate leaves are about 1 inch long. There are 46 purple flowers, sometimes more, along the upper third of the stem. The sepals form a short tube for the blossoms, which open out into 6 soft petals, 3/41 inch across (248).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , KS , NV , NM , OK , TX , UT
Native Habitat: Riparian areas and near water bodies and low spots mainly in South Central and West Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Conditions Comments: California loosestrife is a native species, not to be confused with the exotic and invasive purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria and others). It colonizes by roots and does well in bog gardens. The bloom of California loosestrife is attractive as a cut flower. Provides nectar for adult butterflies. Will also grow in a well drained garden with average water. Good for wetland gardens and habitat.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes

Last Update: 2007-01-01