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Herbaceous Perennial

Lythrum salicaria
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

purple loosestrife

L. salicaria is a robust herbaceous perennial with upright stems to 1.2m tall, clad in narrow, willowy leaves, and small vivid purplish-pink flowers 2cm wide in dense terminal spikes over a long period in summer

Other common names
black blood
long purples
see morepurple grass
rainbow weed
red Sally
rose loosestrife
rosy strip
sage willow
soldiers
spiked loosestrife
willow weed
Synonyms
Lythrum salicaria var. gracile

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Lythraceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Lythrum can be annuals or herbaceous perennials, with simple leaves in opposite pairs and small star-shaped flowers in leafy racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Old World

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any reliably moist soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead after flowering to prevent self-seeding

Pests

May be damaged by slugs and snails

Diseases

Generally disease free

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