Lythrum salicaria L.
Common Name: PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: -5
Wetness Index: OBL
Physiognomy: Ad P-Forb

A Eurasian species, introduced into North America by the earliest 19th century for its colorful flowers, and now an attractive but persistent invasive weed spreading vigorously in wet ground (see Stuckey 1980, esp. p. 9 for Michigan history). Marshes, shores, borders of rivers and streams, ditches; aggressively crowding out the native wetland flora. Reported by the First Survey (1838), but the oldest Michigan collection located by Stuckey dates from 1879 (Muskegon, Muskegon Co.); almost all other records from the state date from the 1890’s onward.

The rather dense pubescence, especially on the upper part of the plant, will readily distinguish this species from the others, as will the larger and more numerous, hence much more showy, flowers in thick purple spike-like inflorescences. Variable in leaf shape and in pubescence, some plants being more glabrate and/or with narrower leaves than most.

Locations

Allegan County
Alpena County
Antrim County
Barry County
Bay County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Calhoun County
Cass County
Charlevoix County
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
    Including Drummond Island
Clinton County
Delta County
Eaton County
Emmet County
Genesee County
Gogebic County
Hillsdale County
Houghton County
Huron County
Ingham County
Iosco County
Isabella County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Keweenaw County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Mackinac County
Macomb County
Manistee County
Mason County
Mecosta County
Monroe County
Muskegon County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Oceana County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Saginaw County
Schoolcraft County
Shiawassee County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Tuscola County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. December 13, 2017. http://www.michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=1662.