Purple-loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Purple-loosestrife

About

Purple-loosestrife can be found in wet habitats such as reedbeds, fens, marshes and riverbanks, where its impressive spikes of magenta flowers rise up among the grasses. Many tall stems can grow from a single root stock. It flowers between June and August when its nectar becomes a valuable food source for long-tongued insects like bees, moths and butterflies, including Brimstones, Red-tailed Bumblebees and Elephant Hawk-moths.

How to identify

Purple-loosestrife has tall, pink flower spikes and long green leaves in opposite pairs up the stem.

Where to find it

Widespread across the UK, but less common in Scotland.

When to find it

  • July
  • August

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and development, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected and managed for the benefit of the plants and animals they hold, including Purple-loosestrife. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Purple-loosestrife
Latin name
Lythrum salicaria
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 1.5m
Conservation status
Common.