Plant Image
Flower spike

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Lythrum californicum - purple loosestrife

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Lythraceae

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Leaves and flowers
Liz Makings @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Erect, pale green, hairless perennial, somewhat woody at the base and generally branching above. Several to many erect, leafy stems from an underground stolon. Most stems about 39 inches or a bit taller. Stem has noticeable ridges running lengthwise.
Identification notes: Erect, very leafy stems with exfoliating bark and alternate or nearly opposite, sessile (without a petiole) leaves; flowers mostly solitary in the axils, forming slender, leafy spikes.The pedicels (flower stalks) are short.
Height: To 5 feet


Habitat Description: Grows in moist soil near water from the deserts to the mountains.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 1000 - 6600 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pinkish-purple     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Mar - Nov
Description: There are 4 to 6 purple flowers, sometimes more, along the upper third of the stem. The sepals form a short tube which opens out into 6 soft petals, 3/4 to 1 inch across.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate and opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The leaves are attached at the base, alternate to almost opposite, and linear-lanceolate in shape. The stems are erect, branched, ridged, hairless, and leafy.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Many seeded capsule is closely enveloped by the calyx, which is vertically pleated.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
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