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Lythrum salicaria
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Lythraceae
Subfamily: Lythroideae
Genus: Lythrum

See text


Peplis L.[1]
Salicaria Mill.[2]

Lythrum is a genus of 38 species of flowering plants native to the temperate world. Commonly known as loosestrife (a name they share with Lysimachia, which are not closely related). They are among 32 genera of the family Lythraceae.[3]


They are herbaceous annuals or perennials. Typically they have square stems, narrow stalkless leaves, and spikes of star-shaped flowers in shades of purple, pink and white. They are especially associated with boggy areas, river banks and ponds, though in cultivation they often tolerate drier conditions. The species L. salicaria (purple loosestrife) and L. virgatum are found in cultivation.[3]

Selected species[edit]

Species include:[1][4][5][6]

Formerly placed here[edit]


Some species of Lythrum are heterostylous, such as the tristylous (occurring in three forms) L. salicaria.[8]


Lythrum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the small emperor moth, the engrailed, the Hebrew character, and the V-pug.

As a noxious weed in the United States[edit]

The genus Lythrum is listed as a noxious weed in Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Lythrum In: Species Plantarum 1: 446 (1753). APNI, IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Accessed 26 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Genus: Lythrum L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1998-04-28. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  3. ^ a b RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  4. ^ Lythrum L. USDA PLANTS.
  5. ^ Common name for L. junceum "Lythrum junceum (false grass-poly)". Flora of Derbyshire. Derby City Council and Derbyshire Flora Committee. February 15, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  6. ^ Common name for L. wilsonii "Innamincka Regional Reserve - Flora Species List (By Family)" (PDF). National Parks and Wildlife South Australia, Department for Environment and Heritage. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  7. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Lythrum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  8. ^ Eckert, C. G.; et al. (1996). "Frequency-dependent selection on morph ratios in tristylous Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)" (PDF). Heredity. 77 (6): 581–88. doi:10.1038/hdy.1996.185.
  9. ^ "Plants Profile for Lythrum alatum (winged lythrum)". Retrieved 31 January 2018.