Lythrum californicum Torrey & A. Gray

California Loosestrife
Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)


California loosestrife is an erect, pale green, glabrous perennial, somewhat woody at the base and generally branching above.  It grows to 6' tall and has mostly linear to linear-oblong, entire-margined, leaves that are opposite below and alternate above. The solitary flowers appear in the leaf axils on a spike-like, terminal inflorescence, and have cylindrical floral tubes and 6 purple petals. Loosestrife blooms from April to October and prefers moist places near vernal pools or streams below 6000' in many plant communities.  These pictures were taken in lower Zuma Canyon in the Santa Monica Mts.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Lythrum 2) californicum.
Pronunciation: LITH-rum ka-li-FOR-ni-kum.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.