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Decodon verticillatus (Swamp loosestrife) | NPIN

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Decodon verticillatus (Swamp loosestrife)
Bruso, George H.

Decodon verticillatus

Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliott

Swamp loosestrife, Swamp-loosestrife, Water willow

Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)

Synonym(s): Decodon verticillatus var. laevigatus


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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS
Native Distribution: N.S. to Ont. & MN, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Swamps; pond edges

Growing Conditions

Water 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.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: The self-rooting tips of branches can be removed and transplanted.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Decodon verticillatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Decodon verticillatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Decodon verticillatus


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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