Lysimachia clethroides

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Lysimachia clethroides
Myrsinaceae - Lysimachia clethroides-1.JPG
Close-up on flowers of Lysimachia clethroides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. clethroides
Binomial name
Lysimachia clethroides

Lysimachia clethroides, common name gooseneck loosestrife, is a species of flowering plant, traditionally classified in the family Primulaceae. It was transferred to the family Myrsinaceae based on a molecular phylogenetic study,[1] but this family was later merged into the Primulaceae.[2]


Lysimachia clethroides can reach heights of 60–100 cm (24–39 in). This hardy herbaceous perennial resembles a tall speedwell. The stem is upright and rigid. The leaves are scattered, alternate, oblong or broadly lanceolate, about 5 cm wide, 7 to 11 cm long, with entire margins. The flowers are tiny (12 cm wide), grouped in terminal spikes, each flower being snow white, with five petals. The inflorescence is bent with a sparsely haired axis, reaching a length of 0.3 to 0.4 cm. It flowers throughout summer. This plant forms underground stolons. It is a pioneer plant in its natural range.

The specific epithet clethroides means "like alder" (Clethra).[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The native range of this plant is China and Japan. It is also found in Russia, Korea, and North America. It is present in damp woodland margins, wet ravines and forests, sunny grassy hills, and mountain slopes at elevations of 300–2,100 m (980–6,890 ft) above sea level. It prefers deep, rich loam and sheltered positions.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]



  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Lysimachia clethroides". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 

External links[edit]