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Lysimachia quadrifolia (Whorled yellow loosestrife)
Cressler, Alan

Lysimachia quadrifolia

Lysimachia quadrifolia L.

Whorled Yellow Loosestrife, Whorled Loosestrife, Prairie Loosestrife

Primulaceae (Primrose Family)


USDA Symbol: LYQU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A 1-3 ft. perennial with very narrow, stiff leaves and slightly toothed, yellow flowers from leaf axils. Delicate, yellow, stalked, star-like flowers rise from the axils of whorled leaves.

The whorled leaves and flowers are the characteristic features of this rapidly spreading member of the Primrose Family. The genus name honors Lysimachus, a king of ancient Sicily who is said to have used a member of the genus to pacify a maddened bull. Colonists also fed the plant to oxen so that they would work together peacefully.


From the Image Gallery

25 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , KY , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Ont. & Man., s. to w. VA, KY, IL & n. AR
Native Habitat: Fens; moist prairies

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sometimes limey, soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Seeds require light for germination so sow on top of soil.
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 on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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