Purple Loosestrife

Name: Purple Loosestrife

Scientific name: Lythrum salicaria

Category: Flowers

Nature Stars: 60

What are nature stars?

About: Found in reedbeds, fens and wet habitat. Many tall stems may grow from a single root stock. It flowers between June and August when its nectar becomes a valuable food source for long-tongued insects like bees and butterflies.

How to identify: Look for tall, pink flower spikes and long green leaves shooting off symmetrically from the stem.

Where: Widespread across the UK and Ireland, less so in the Scotland

Fantastic fact: Purple Loosestrife is a big problem in North America, where it is an invasive weed: their equivalent of Himalayan Balsam.

Photograph credit: Richard Burkmar