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Common Loosestrife
Lythrum californicum
About Common Loosestrife (Lythrum californicum) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Lythrum californicum is a species of flowering plant in the loosestrife family known by the common name California loosestrife. It is native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States into the Midwest as far east as Oklahoma and Texas. It often grows in moist habitat. This is an erect perennial herb reaching 20 to 60 centimeters tall, sometimes branching. The waxy linear to lance-shaped leaves are arranged oppositely lower on the plant, and alternately toward the top. They are 1 to 7 centimeters in length. The flower cluster is a terminal spike of flowers with purple petals under a centimeter long. Flowers are heterostylous on one individual plant, with some having long, protruding styles and some with shorter styles not protruding from the mouth of the flower. The fruit is an oval capsule containing many minute seeds. This plant resembles its relative, the notorious noxious weed purple loosestrife; California loosestrife is usually not weedy.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

0.7 - 2 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 3 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Part Shade

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Marshes, pond and stream Edges

Annual Precipitation: 2.3" - 59.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 1.93", Coldest Month: 34.0" - 60.7", Hottest Month: 61.4" - 90.2", Humidity: 0.47" - 48.25", Elevation: -148" - 6112"

Alternative Names
Common Names: California Loosestrife

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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