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Bruso, George H.
Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliott
Swamp loosestrife, Swamp-loosestrife, Water willow
Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)
Synonym(s): Decodon verticillatus var. laevigatus
USDA Symbol: DEVE
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A shrubby perennial with 1-3 ft. long, arching, leafy stems, often rooting at the tips. The lance-shaped leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3-4. Arching stems have showy, deep pink flowers in tufts in the axils of the upper, opposite or whorled, willow-like leaves. Bell-shaped, pink-purple flowers occur in dense clusters in the upper leaf axils.
The many intertwining, arching stems of this herb- to shrub-like plant may form sizable patches at the edges of lakes and sluggish streams or on floating bog mats. Wherever a stem touches the water, air-filled, spongy tissue may develop. This tissue buoys the stem so that it may root and form a new arching stem. Despite one of its common names and its willow-like leaves, the plant is not related to the willows.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: NB
, NS Native Distribution:
N.S. to Ont. & MN,
s. to FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Swamps; pond edges
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Good for large bog gardens and pond margins, often arching over the water. Var. verticillatus occurs mostly near the coast; var. laevigatus is mostly inland.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: The self-rooting tips of branches can be removed and transplanted.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff