This Thursday I am joining Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome again in featuring a plant growing in my garden. Until choosing this plant for my feature today, I was unaware of its common name Purple Loosestrife, as I only knew the botanical name Lythrum salicaria and the German name ‘Blutweiderich’. I had heard of Purple Loosestrife, but never put two and two together!
Lythrum loves damp ground, so this year it has done much better than usual. It is one of the few plants that I water if it is dry. It grows down near our river, where it gets taller than mine – this one is just 50cm tall but in the wild with the right conditions I have seen it about 80cm tall too.
It is a fantastic plant for pollinators of all kinds, especially bees and hoverflies…
Lythrum appears late, with the first leaves visible only after the last tulips have flowered. It is therefore useful for areas where spring bulbs leave a gap. And in autumn the foliage turns orangey red, prolonging the interest. But the flowers are what I grow it for in this area reserved predominantly for herbs. And it has had many herbal uses in the past; as a diuretic, for stopping bleeding, for stomach disorders and even for skin problems.
The Nigella seedheads are a happy coincidence, reflecting the pinky red of the flowers and buds. The yellow in the background is St John’s Wort.
Do you grow this flower, or have you seen it growing nearby?
Thanks to our host once more – do go and visit Kimberley to see what she is featuring this week.