Loosestrife, Garden

Lysimachia vulgaris

Images of this species:

Common look-alikes:



Lysimachia vulgaris is a herbaceous perennial with erect stems up to 3.3 feet in height and long, stolon-like rhizomes that can run 33 feet long.


The leaves of this plant are opposite or whorled. They have small glands that are black or orange in color and soft hairs beneath. They are lanceolate to laceolate-ovate in shape, 2.75-4.75 inches in length and 0.6-1.5 inches in width. The middle and upper leaves have short petioles and are acuminate.


The inflorescence is a terminal, leafy panicle that appears June-September. The flowers have five yellow petals and are 0.5-0.75 inches across. The lobes of the calyx are red-margined and 0.15-0.2 inches long.


The fruits are dry capsules. The seeds of this plant are most likely water-dispersed. However, the main method of dispersal for this plant is via rhizomes.


This is considered a watch list species


Native to Eurasia


Edge, Herbaceous Wetland, Lake or Pond, Open Disturbed Area, River or Stream, Roadside, Salt Marsh, Wet Meadow, Yard or Garden. Lysimachia vulgaris prefers moist soil, and will invade fens, wet woods, lake shores, rocky river shores and riparian zones.

Life cycle

Blooms July through August

Ecological Threat

Lysimachia vulgaris presents a similar threat as the serious invasive Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife). In Washington state it has been reported as possibly outcompeting Lythrum salicaria in wetland habitats. The rhizomes spread readily. Though its populations have not yet reached the numbers of Lythrum salicaria populations, it has the potential to do so. Lysimachia vulgaris prefers moist soil, and will invade fens, wet woods, lake shores, rocky river shores and riparian zones.

Management Options

Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work.

Always read and follow pesticide label directions. Application of pesticides may require a certification from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Agency website provides information on what applicator certification is needed.


Photo Credit

5399065, Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

5447902, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

5474030, Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Information Credit 

Go Botany

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, second link 

Department of Ecology State of Washington