Whorled Loosestrife – Lysimachia quadrifolia

whorled loosestrife

WHORLED LOOSESTRIFE ( Lysimachia quadrifolia) is in the Primrose family

We have had a very wet spring and the rains continue into our summer so far.  Lots of greenery, and not so many blooms.  One tender little flower that might be missed is the delicate whorled loosestrife growing in spots of filtered light in the area. As far as gardening with the little plant, there is no problem.  If they are in the area, they will volunteer cheerfully into your flower beds.  Since they are so ubiquitous on the property I have never transplanted any of the plants nor gathered seeds to plant – but, hey, not a bad project for me and will definitely make a mental note to do just that.

lysimachia quadrifolia 2010_1The Whorled Loosestrife plant appears in late May-June and is a lengthy summer visitor. It consists of one tender stalk 2-3’ tall with whorled leaves and very small deep yellow flowers with a tiny red center that whorl around the plant as well.

Lysimachia quadrifolia 2_1

Notice how the leaves whorl from a single point (surround the stem).  The plant is called “quadrifolia” which means “four leaved” in latin, but notice how here we see 5 leaves.  In trying to identify the plant, don’t be fooled by the scientific name which is usually helpful in identifying plants, but rely instead on its common name and the fact that the plant is “whorled” loosestrife  and look for the characteristic 4 or 5 leaves which whrol around the stem with the little yellow flowers radiating from the same spot.

Whorled Loosestrife was Also known as “Liberty Tea” during the American Revolution because its leaves were steeped and used instead of British tea. American Indians used both the leaves and the root of this plant for medicinal purposes for a variety of illnesses.

Click here for a PDF printable page on  Whorled loosestrife

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