Purple Loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria, L. virgatum.

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State designated noxious weed; pink to purple flowers bloom July-September; leaves are heartshaped; height to 8 ft.


Marshes, river and creek banks, ditches and wet meadows. Can withstand flooding up to 18 inches deep.

Location in Nebraska

Throughout Nebraska, especially in the east, along the Platte and Niobrara Rivers.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

Introduced from Europe as an ornamental for landscaping. Can spread by re-sprouting from stem cuttings and from regeneration of pieces of root stock. Seeds are long-lived and can disperse by wind, water, and can be spread by adhering to wildlife, livestock, people, tires, boats, etc.


Forms dense stands over very large areas, restricting water movement, trapping sediment and causing changes in water quality. Severe infestations will dominate wetlands in a single monoculture. Adapts to many environments and competes with native vegetation.