Opinions on Loosestrife?!

BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)January 18, 2013

Hi everyone. In another post I received an opinion to get rid of my loosestrife (sorry for you Latin fans, I'm still learning). What are your thoughts?

So far the loosestrife is limited to two, out of the way beds on the west side of my property behind the house. They get late afternoon sun only. The only thing close to them are some daisies that I could live without.

To be honest, the loosestrife is a nice filler. Althought I'm not particularly attached to it- it's hard to use as a cut flower because it flowers all the way to the ground. When surrounded by all of these other wonderful flowers they don't really light my fire.

Opinions?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Bluebird, this is where you are going to have to learn some latin. Loosestrife is a common term for too many plants for anyone to be able to offer you advice without better identification. Lythrum salicaria - purple loosestrife, is an invasive banned in many states. You said in another post your garden was designed by a landscape architect? Very doubtful you would have that one. I'd be surprised to learn you had any detrimental plants in your new garden.

The lysimachias, and I'm guessing you may have one of those, vary widely in their growth and spreading habits. Many of them have their place in the garden and of those that are aggressive, they are only an issue for the gardener whose garden they are in, they don't present a problem for the neighborhood as can purple loosestrife.

Lysimachia clethroides - Gooseneck loosestrife will give headaches to any gardener, its aggressive, takes more than its share of space in short order. Lysimachia ephemerum on the other hand, white flowered, is a well behaved clumper that doesn't run at all and is great for vertical interest, tall and long flowered.

I've grown the variegated forms of lysimachia punctata and find that one a fuss free addition to my perennials. Not every plant in your garden is going to lend itself to finding a good place in a vase, cutting garden may not have been the goal when yours was planted.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:06PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

There are several plants commonly known as Loosestrife (Lythrum and Lysimachia species). Can you tell us which one you have? It's not so much a question of being a fan of Latin, but of being able to identify exactly what plant we are talking about. The 'daisies' also could be literally hundreds of different plants.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i agree with the latin

i agree that most loosestrife is not worth it.. the key part of the name is STRIFE ... lol

but i might disagree about the landscape architect ....

i have heard too many stories about such.. not really being 'gardeners' ... lol ... i was actually impressed she bought from one that had a real garden ...

but i would NOT presume its one of the good versions.. just because of the LA ...

picture and a post.. and we can name it for you .. and yes.. some of this stuff will have to wait until it blooms in spring ...

simply kill the invasive one.. its choking waterways all over the US ...

ken

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:11PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Ken - we still need to know the correct id. Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is not the only Loosetrife. The OP might have Lysimachia clethroides, punctata, ciliata or other species or hybrid. Judging by the other plants in the garden it could well be a good one. Several are vigorous but not invasive. This isn't a run it over with a truck moment - at least not until we know what we are dealing with.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:17PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i know.. i said if she had the bad one ...

actually i just reread what i said... please try to read what i MEANT TO SAY .. lol

typing in the middle of a caffeine buzz is trying at times.. lol ..

as i DID say.. pix and a post.. and someone will ID yours for you ...

but my point above was.. dont rely on the veracity of the dude who left it behind ....

i actually did leave the bad one behind when i moved ... i should have known better to have left it ...

ken

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:10PM
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wieslaw59

Lythrum salicaria is actually selfsterile, so if your plant is the only one in the neighborhood, you will never get any seed on it.
Lysimachia punctata Alexander stays put in my garden.Relatively slow growing.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 4:58PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I do personally try to use Latin for everything, since (as with Loosestrife) there can be multiple common names for every plant! OY! Confusing to be sure...

BUT, in this case I don't think it matters(except maybe being of value for your own edification). If you don't like the plant one name or another isn't going to make much diff in your decision. They could change the latin name of Potentilla shrubs to whatever they please, I will still detest them with an unswerving passion! ;-D

Took me years to get to that point- if you don't like a plant than it IS okay to get rid of it. ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 5:01PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

You don't necessarily have to use Latin, you just have to be more specific. No single plant is just called "loosestrife." Purple loosestrife (Lythirium salicaria) is probably the best known invasive loosestrife in the U.S.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:18PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Thanks, everyone. I understand the point of the Latin just don't know how to use it in this instance because I don't know what type of Loosestrife it is. I've been searching for a picture if it, but don't seem to have one. From what I've seen online, it looks like it might be the dreaded purple except that it's actually pink. Also my memory is that it flowers all the way down to the ground. Even though it was at least 3 feet high by the end of summer. The flowers look like this, but not the stems.
Help?
http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0PDoS9x5_lQRBIAZyyJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3DTypes%2Bof%2Bloosestrife%26fr%3Dyfp-tab-701%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D19&w=640&h=480&imgurl=upload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F3%2F36%2FLythrum_salicaria%252C_purple_loosestrife_4.jpg%2F640px-Lythrum_salicaria%252C_purple_loosestrife_4.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ALythrum_salicaria%2C_purple_loosestrife_4.jpg&size=97.4+KB&name=...+%E2%80%8E+%281%2C200+�+900+pixels%2C+file+size%3A+658+KB%2C+MIME+type%3A+image%2Fjpeg&p=Types+of+loosestrife&oid=38cf7da09e1f825bd0ec4c5f31783d93&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-tab-701&tt=...%2B%25E2%2580%258E%2B%25281%252C200%2B%25C3%2597%2B900%2Bpixels%252C%2Bfile%2Bsize%253A%2B658%2BKB%252C%2BMIME%2Btype%253A%2Bimage%252Fjpeg&b=0amp;ni=66&no=19&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=12ircv574&sigb=13gpup03m&sigi=14juln704&.crumb=1z1ZTMZPrWL

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 7:33PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Guys, I think I found it!!!! I think it's actually called Blazing Star!! No idea on the Latin. Just found it in an old BHG magazine. Still searching for more info. Excited!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:46PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

I don't think Liatris spicata (a.k.a. Blazing Star, a.k.a. Gayfeather) flowers all the way to the ground. The flower spike and color do resemble Purple Loosestrife, though.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:21PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Blazing Star is liatris, not a lythrum, not a lysimachia :)

Similar in appearance and also easy to confuse could be Verbena hastata: blue vervain, and Epilobium: fireweed. If going by memory, you may need a photo of your plants when growth begins for accurate ID.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:30PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

And here I very much like my "Yellow Loosestrife" (Lysimachia punctata). For sure the foliage is nothing to write home about but in bloom there are tons of flowers (actually quite unique i.e. little yellow star like blooms with a light orange centre) lasting 3 to 4 weeks. I have it in a small 'medallion' garden surrounded by interlock so it does not spread. Here is a picture of it from June 2011.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 6:04

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 8:52AM
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