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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Lythrum californicum Torr. & A. Gray
California loosestrife, Purple loosestrife
Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)
USDA Symbol: lyca4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Deciduous Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
, 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
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.
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1078
Collected Jun 10, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff