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For the ancient town, see Lysimachia (Thrace).
Yellow pimpernel.jpg
Yellow pimpernel, Lysimachia nemorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia

Lysimachia /ˌlsɨˈmkiə/[1] is a genus of flowering plants traditionally classified in the family Primulaceae. Based on a molecular phylogenetic study it was transferred to the family Myrsinaceae,[2] before this family was later merged into the Primulaceae.[3]


Lysimachia species often have yellow flowers, and grow vigorously. They tend to grow in damp conditions. Several species within Lysimachia are commonly called loosestrife, although this name is also used for plants within the genus Lythrum. The genus is named in honor of Lysimachus, a king of ancient Sicily, who is said to have calmed a mad ox by feeding it a member of the genus.[4]

Lysimachia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some butterflies and moths, including the Dot Moth, Grey Pug, Lime-speck Pug, Small Angle Shades and V-pug.

Specialized Pollinators[edit]

Bees of the genus Macropis are specialized to pollinate oil-producing Lysimachia plants. These bees use exclusively Lysimachia floral oils for building theirs nests and provisioning cells. A 2007 study found Lysimachia floral-specific chemicals were strong attractors for Macropis nuda and Macropis fulvipes bees that are seldom found in other plant genera.[5]

Spotted Loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata)

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ M. Källersjö, G. Bergqvist & A. A. Anderberg (2000). "Generic realignment in primuloid families of the Ericales s. l.: a phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences from three chloroplast genes and morphology". American Journal of Botany (American Journal of Botany, Vol. 87, No. 9) 87 (9): 1325–1341. doi:10.2307/2656725. JSTOR 2656725. PMID 10991903. 
  3. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. 
  4. ^ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Native Plant Information Network (NPIN)
  5. ^ Schäffler; Dötterl (February 2007). "Flower Scent of Floral Oil-Producing Lysimachia punctata as Attractant for the Oil-Bee Macropis fulvipes". Journal of Chemical Ecology. 

External links[edit]