USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Illustration courtesy of University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Used with permission.
What is Loosestrife?
- Elliptical-sword shaped
- 2-3 inches long
- Paired or whorled around stem
- Oval-shaped petals
- Purple, red, lavender, or blue in color
- 3+ feet tall
Where Does it Grow?
Loosestrife can be found in meadows, prairies, marshes, ditches, and around ponds and lakes.
Pros and Cons of Loosestrife
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.
What Type of Loosestrife Do I Have?
There are two common types of loosestrife in North America. Click on the buttons to learn more about each species.