Dictionary of Flowers: Lysimachia Punctata (Loosestrife)

Lysimachia Punctata (Loosestrife) attracts butterflies. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Toshihiro Gamo and Flickr

Lysimachia Punctata (Loosestrife) attracts butterflies. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Toshihiro Gamo and Flickr

  • Lysimachia Punctata
  • Common name: yellow loosestrife
  • Family:  Primulaceae
  • Category: Perennial in USDA zones 3 to 8
  • Height: 18" to 24"
  • Width: 12" to 24"
  • Sun/part shade
  • Blooms: midsummer
  • Attracts: bees
  • Growth habit: erect. Used as a filler in container combinations
  • Maintenance: easy
  • Soil: rich, moist, well drained. Tolerates sandy soil. Water regularly if grown in containers
  • Garden uses: containers, groundcover, mixed border, wildflower garden
  • Diseases: rust, leaf spot
  • Pests: not bothered by pests

Yellow loosestrife is an upright growing herbaceous perennial with bright yellow star like flowers that grown on spikes from a clump of bright green leaves.

It's a fast grower that can take over if grown in optimal conditions. The clumps have to be thinned every second year to avoid undesired spread. It spreads by underground rhizomes.

This loosestrife prefers rich soil that is kept moist at all times. Amend with plenty of organic matter at planting time.

If grown in containers, a water retentive potting mix or adding water retentive crystals to the soil is useful to keep the container from drying.

A layer of mulch will also help maintain moisture level. It doesn't mind clay or sandy soils, though it performs better in humus rich soil.

It can grow in full sun to part shades. In zones with hot summers, provide afternoon shade.

Fertilize in early spring with a slow release balanced fertilizer. Remove spent stalks after blooming to keep the plant tidy and to prevent self-seeding.

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

It can be propagated easily by dividing clumps when dormant, in early spring. They can also be propagated by root cuttings.

Cut sections of a root about two inches long and replant in containers with moist potting mix. Keep moist until leaves appear. If growing from seed, either wintersow or start indoors, barely covering the seed in moist starting medium.

When kept at 70, they should germinate in about a month. If there is no germination at the end of the month, cold stratification might be necessary.

Move to the refrigerator and keep there for at least two weeks. After the cold stratification, move back to a warm temperature area.

Plant in their permanent spot after all danger of frost has passed. It might take one or two years for plants grown from seed to bloom.




IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

It is fairly resistant to pests and disease. If fungal disease appears (rust, leaf spot), treat with a fungicide.

There is only one registered variety of yellow loosestrife, Lysimachia Punctata 'Alexander'. It produces variegated leaves, cream and green.

It can reach 24 inches tall. It only produces seed occasionally.

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Click to see Lysimachia Lummularia (Creeping Jenny)
Click to see Myosotis Sylvatica (Forget-Me-Not)

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