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Yellow Loosestrife

Lysimachia vulgaris

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Primulaceae (Primrose)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Ditches, fens, grassland, marshes, riverbanks, riversides, swamps, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Golden yellow cup-shaped flowers, 5 petals.
A shiny, globular capsule.
Evergreen. The light green, broadly linear, unstalked leaves are borne either in opposite pairs or in whorls of 3 or 4. Black or orange dotted. Hairy underneath.
Other Names:
Common Loosestrife, Garden Loosestrife, Willow Herb, Willow Weed, Willow Wort.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Lysimachia vulgaris, also known as garden loosestrife or yellow loosestrife, is a herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is known for its bright yellow flowers that bloom in the summer and its leaves that are lanceolate. It prefers moist soil and can be found in wetland areas such as marshes, swamps, and along the edges of streams and ponds. It can also be grown in gardens and is considered an attractive plant for its bright yellow flowers. It is not considered an invasive species, unlike Lysimachia punctata and Lythrum salicaria which can outcompete native plants and reduce biodiversity in wetlands.


Yellow Loosestrife, also known as Lysimachia vulgaris, is a beautiful and vibrant flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Primulaceae family and is commonly found growing in wetlands, marshes, and along the banks of streams and ponds.


Yellow Loosestrife is a tall and upright plant that can grow up to 4 feet tall. It has lance-shaped leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. The leaves are glossy and green, with a slightly hairy texture.

The flowers of Yellow Loosestrife are stunning, with bright yellow petals that are arranged in long, dense spikes. Each flower is about 1 inch in diameter and has five petals that are fused together at the base. The flowers bloom in mid-summer and continue through early fall, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.


Yellow Loosestrife has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to ancient Greece. The plant was believed to have diuretic and astringent properties, and was used to treat a variety of ailments including kidney and liver disorders, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Yellow Loosestrife is also a popular ornamental plant. Its bright and showy flowers make it a great choice for adding color and interest to a garden. It is also a good choice for planting in wet areas, as it can tolerate waterlogged soil.


Yellow Loosestrife is a relatively easy plant to grow, and is suitable for both beginner and experienced gardeners. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. The plant can be propagated from seed or by division, and should be divided every few years to keep it healthy and vigorous.

While Yellow Loosestrife is a beautiful plant, it can be invasive in some areas. It is important to check with your local extension office or garden center before planting, to ensure that it is not considered a noxious weed in your area.

Ecological Importance

Yellow Loosestrife is an important plant for many wetland ecosystems. Its roots help to stabilize soil, prevent erosion, and improve water quality by filtering out excess nutrients and pollutants. The plant also provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Invasive Species

While Yellow Loosestrife is a beautiful and beneficial plant, it has also been identified as an invasive species in some parts of North America. When introduced to non-native habitats, Yellow Loosestrife can outcompete native plants and disrupt local ecosystems. It is important to be aware of the potential for Yellow Loosestrife to become invasive, and to take steps to control its spread if necessary.

Other Uses

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, Yellow Loosestrife has also been used for dyeing fabric. The plant produces a yellow dye that was historically used to color clothing and textiles.

In some parts of Europe, Yellow Loosestrife is also used as a culinary herb. The leaves and flowers can be added to salads, soups, and other dishes for their slightly bitter flavor and nutritional benefits.

Final Thoughts

Yellow Loosestrife is a beautiful and versatile plant that has a long history of use and cultivation. Whether you are looking to add color and interest to your garden, improve the health of a wetland ecosystem, or explore the medicinal or culinary uses of the plant, Yellow Loosestrife is a fascinating and worthwhile plant to learn more about.

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Yellow Loosestrife has also been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and astringent properties. It was used to treat a variety of conditions such as urinary tract infections, liver and kidney problems, digestive disorders, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Some studies have also shown that Yellow Loosestrife contains compounds that have potential anti-cancer properties. The plant contains flavonoids, which are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can help protect against cancer.

Yellow Loosestrife can also be used as a natural insecticide. The plant produces a chemical called lythraceous acid that has been shown to repel and kill insect pests such as aphids and spider mites.

In addition to its practical uses, Yellow Loosestrife has also played a role in folklore and mythology. In ancient Greece, the plant was named after Lysimachus, a king who was said to have used the plant to cure his horses of an illness. In Celtic mythology, Yellow Loosestrife was associated with the goddess Brigid, who was said to have used the plant to heal wounds.

Overall, Yellow Loosestrife is a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and a variety of uses. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, ecological benefits, or simply its beauty, Yellow Loosestrife is a plant that is worth exploring further. However, it is important to be aware of its potential to become invasive in certain areas and to take appropriate measures to prevent its spread.


Yellow Loosestrife filmed in Adlington, Lancashire on the 7th July 2022.


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