Lythrum purple loosestrife

Height: 25cm (10in)

Water depth: up to 10cm (4in)

Features: flowers summer

Soil: boggy

Site: sun

Type: hardy marginal

Purple loosestrife has magnificent, tall, red-purple or pink flowerspikes from mid summer to early autumn. These grow 60-150cm (2-5ft) tall among mid-green, lance-shaped leaves. Many spectacular garden varieties have been developed.

Popular species and varieties:

Lytbrum salicaria is a large-growing species, with thick stems, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) tall. Varieties include ‘Firecandle’ (syn. ‘Feuerkerze’), 90cm (3ft) tall, with rich purple-pink flowers; ‘Lady Sackville’, 1.2m (4ft), with bright rose-pink flowers; ‘Robert’, 75cm (1 1/2ft), with vivid rose-red flowers; and ‘The Beacon’, 90cm (3ft), with deep rose-crimson flowers in dense spikes. Lytbrum virgatum grows to 60cm (2ft), wirh pinkish flowers. Varieties include ‘Dropmore Purple’, wirh purple blooms, and ‘Rose Queen”, with pale pink flowers.

Cultivation

Plant in autumn or spring along the water’s edge, in sun or light shade. It will tolerate up to 7.5cm (3in) of water. Cut back in autumn.

Propagation: Divide the roots in autumn or spring.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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