A strong-growing, diverse group of herbaceous or evergreen perennials with narrow leaves and star-shaped flowers in summer. An easy to grow plant that thrives in moist conditions, in full sun or partial shade. Loved by bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Family: Primulaceae (primula)
Botanical Name: Lysimachia
Common Names: Loosestrife
Foliage: Herbaceous or evergreen, simple lance-shaped, light green leaves. L. ciliata 'Firecracker' has narrow pointed, dark purple leaves.
Flowers: Star-shaped, cupped or bowl-shaped flowers.
Flowering Period: June to September.
Soil: Moist fertile soil (clay or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in a north, east, west or south facing aspect.
Habit: Bushy, spreading.
Type: Herbaceous perennial.
Origin: Europe, Asia, China, Japan.
Hardiness: Most varieties are fully hardy in the UK.
This group of robust hardy perennials mainly consist of marginal plants, which grow best in a damp site, in partial shade.
Any moisture-retentive garden soil will do. Add plenty of compost or organic matter to the soil before planting.
Certain species can spread rapidly.
Water well in dry weather. Mulch each spring to retain moisture.
Cut back after flowering.
Susceptible to attack by slugs and snails. Generally disease free.
Lift and divide established clumps every three years or so, in autumn or spring, to reinvigorate the plant.
Lysimachia 'Aurea' (creeping jenny) is a sprawling yellow-leaved variety, ideal for use as ground cover.
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) is a hardy perennial plant with bright yellow star shaped flowers and narrow green leaves. Height to 120cm (48 inches). Good cultivars include 'Firecracker' with dark purple tinted foliage that contrasts well with its bright yellow flowers. (RHS Award of Garden Merit). Available from Gardening Express.
Lysimachia ephemerum (willow-leaved loosestrife) is a clump forming herbaceous perennial with erect stems clad in narrow, grey-green leaves, and topped with slender terminal racemes of small starry white flowers in early summer. Available at Van Meuwen.
Lysimachia punctata (yellow loosestrife) is an upright Loosestrife, ideal for the bog garden. The leafy stems bear whorls of yellow, starry flowers from June to August. Height to 3ft (90cm). Cultivar 'Alexander' produces pink-tinted cream and green variegated foliage in early spring, followed by masses of bright golden blooms from June to September. Available from Gardening Express.
Lysimachia vulgaris (common garden loosestrife) is a vigorous form that is really too invasive for the average bog garden.
Lysimachia clethroides (Chinese loosestrife, gooseneck loosestrife) has tall stems of narrow mid-green leaves topped with curving or vertical spikes of tiny white flowers in summer. Height and spread to 2ft (60cm) or more. Available from Gardening Express. Variety 'Autumn Snow' produces tall stems of narrow mid-green leaves, topped with spikes of tiny white flowers. Available from Gardening Express.