Purple loosestrife

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)

Common Name:

Purple loosestrife

Scientific Name:

Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)

Alternative common names:


An erect, hairy perennial up to 2m high with stout stems. Stalkless leaves growing right from the upright stem and mostly opposite. Showy spikes of rose-purple flowers which appear in summer.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Europe and Asia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1a

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

It can form dense stands that compete with and replace indigenous species.

What does it look like?

General description: An erect, hairy perennial growing up to 2m high with stout stems.
Leaves: Leaves are stalkless, half-clasping to the stem and opposite.
Flowers: Showy spikes of rose-purple flowers in summer.
Fruit/seeds: Capsules 5mm long.

Does the plant have any uses?


Leave a Reply