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Bruso, George H.
Decodon verticillatus (L.) Ell.
Swamp loosestrife, Swamp-loosestrife, Water willow
USDA Symbol: DEVE
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
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
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff