Common name: Purple loosestrife, Purple Loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria L. APNI*
Description: Erect, rhizomatous perennial herb, 0.5–1 m high; all parts pubescent.
Leaves mostly opposite or whorled, narrow-ovate, 17–70 mm long, 3–12 mm wide, apex acute, base ± cordate, stem-clasping or rounded to auriculate.
Inflorescences of clustered flowers in the axils of reduced leaves. Flowers heterostylous, with 3 different forms. Hypanthium 4–5 mm long. Sepals 5 or 6, triangular and membranous; appendages about twice as long, narrow and subulate. Petals 5 or 6, obovate, 7–10 mm long, deep pink to purple. Stamens 12, variable in length.
Capsule dehiscing by 2 valves.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread in moist places or near water, often in swamps.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
Text by J. Highet & Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 2 (1991)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.