Lythrum californicum Torr. & A. Gray
California loosestrife, Purple loosestrife
Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)
USDA Symbol: lyca4
Purple loosestrife grows to 5 feet tall. The alternate leaves are about 1 inch long. There are 4–6 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, 3/4–1 inch across (248).
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , KS , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT
Native Habitat: Riparian areas and near water bodies and low spots mainly in South Central and West Texas.
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1078 Collected Jun 10, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lythrum californicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lythrum californicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lythrum californicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff