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Common name:Purple loosestrife
Scientific name:Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)
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.
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?Ornament.
Plant me instead alternatives
Waterholly (Senecio glastifolius)