Loosestrife, Purple (Lythrum salicaria)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) -
(To enlarge the photos, click on the photos or links)

(Loosestrife, Purple - 01)  The purple loosestrife is one of about 10 species of loosestrife known to exist in the United States.  Most of them grow south of our location.  This species of purple loosestrife can be identified by the broad base of its lanceolate leaves, which grow opposite one another, or sometimes in a whorl of three leaves.

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 01a)  In this photo, we can more easily see the broad base of the purple loosestrife leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 02)  Another characteristic of the purple loosestrife is the wrinkled appearance of its flower petals, which can number from five to seven.

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 03)  This purple loosestrife flower has six petals.  The single projecting pistil is easy to identify, but the crowded condition of the twelve stamens make them hard to count.

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 04)  The flowers of the purple loosestrife develop in a whorl around a spike at the top of the stock.  There are three varieties of the purple loosestrife.  This one has a long pistil and short stamens.  In the second variety, the stamens and pistil are at the same level; and in the last one, the pistil is short and the stamens are long.

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 05)  An immigrant from Europe, the purple loosestrife has crowded out other species of plants.  It adapts itself well to fields and to wetlands, where the purple loosestrife has crowded out food for waterfowl, making the wetlands less productive.  But even with its problems, it adds beauty to this and other fields.

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 06)  This purple loosestrife has gone to seed.  The young leafy sprouts of the purple loosestrife were eaten as a vegetable when other food was is short supply.  The astringent qualities of the purple loosestrife were also useful in treating chronic diarrhea.

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 07)  In this type of purple loosestrife, the stamens are longer than the pistil.

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 08)  This photo of a portion of a purple loosestrife flower stalk shows the more mature flowers lower on the stalk and the newer flowers near the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 08a)  This close-up photo of a portion of the stalk of a purple loosestrife shows the flowers just beginning to emerge from the the calyx.  The left side of the photo has captured what appears to be an example of the type of flower in which the stamens and pistil are the same length.

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 08b)  This is a close-up look at another of the purple loosestrife flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 09)  This attractive patch of purple loosestrife was growing just off the side of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 11)  This is a close-up side view of one of the purple loosestrife flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 12)  This bee's eye view of the center of one of the purple loosestrife flowers shows that it's the type that has stamens longer than the pistil.  Even though the literature states that purple loosestrife have 12 stamens, we have been able to identify only 6 in this flower.

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 12a)  This is a close-up look at one of the 1/4 inch long purple loosestrife petals.

 

 

 

(Loosestrife, Purple - 13)  This is another look at a portion of a purple loosestrife flower spike.

 

 

 

 

 

| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

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