Lythrum salicaria L.

Purple Loosestrife

Sp. Pl. 446 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Erect herb, annual above ground, perennial below, 50–150 cm tall, glabrous or pubescent; stems angular. Leaves mostly opposite, sometimes in whorls of 3, narrowly ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 1.5–7 cm long, 3–15 mm wide, sessile; apex acute; base rounded to auriculate or stem-clasping. Flowers in clusters of 3–5 in upper leaf-axils forming spike-like panicles, subsessile; hypanthium cylindric, 4.5–5 mm long, 1.5–2 mm diam., appendages 5 or 6, subulate, 2–3 mm long; sepals 5 or 6, triangular, c. 1 mm long; petals 5 or 6, spreading, ovate, 8–10 mm long, pink, blue or purple; stamens usually 12, usually dimorphic, 6 long-exserted. Capsule ovoid, shorter than hypanthium, dehiscing by 2 valves. Flowers mainly Sep.–Apr.

DunT, EGL, EGU, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, *CVU, *GipP. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Cosmopolitan. Apart from the north and north-west, widespread across much of Victoria, usually in wet and swampy places.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Lythraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-28
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Myrtales
family Lythraceae
genus Lythrum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Lythrum salicaria in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lythrum salicaria in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present uncertain
Glenelg Plain present uncertain
Victorian Volcanic Plain present uncertain
Victorian Riverina present uncertain
Murray Fans present uncertain
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Otway Plain present uncertain
Warrnambool Plain present uncertain
Goldfields present uncertain
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Greater Grampians present uncertain
Dundas Tablelands present uncertain
Northern Inland Slopes present uncertain
East Gippsland Lowlands present uncertain
East Gippsland Uplands present uncertain
Wilsons Promontory present uncertain
Highlands-Southern Fall present uncertain
Highlands-Northern Fall present uncertain
Otway Ranges present uncertain
Strzelecki Ranges present uncertain
Monaro Tablelands present uncertain
Victorian Alps present uncertain
Snowy Mountains present uncertain

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory