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Home / Private Collections / Starz / Science / Plants / UK Wild Flowers / Wild plants -August / Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
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Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)


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This plant has purple-pink flowers(with 5-7 petals), in whorls of six, set in the angle between the stem and small leaf-like bracts. The whorls are arranged in dense spikes. Flowers can be variable between plants. The leaves are smooth, lance-shaped, arranged in opposite pairs and often downy. The stem is square and the plant grows to between 60 and 120cm tall. It grows prolifically in wetlands and other moist areas. Each mature plant produces 30 or more spikes and can produce over 2.5 million seeds per year. The plant can be found in wetland on shorelines, by ponds and rivers, irrigation ditches and moist agricultural fields. The plant's juice is rich in tannins and has been used as an alternative to Oak bark for tanning leather. It flowers mainly from June to August. Picture taken 27th August at Flemersham, Bedforshire. For further pictures see the July plant diary.

28th Aug 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

plant flower wildlife

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