Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Loosestrife, Wand Loosestrife
Lythrum virgatum

Family: Lythraceae (ly-THRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lythrum (LY-thrum) (Info)
Species: virgatum (vir-GA-tum) (Info)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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No positives
No neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative susybell On Oct 23, 2007, susybell from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lythrum Quarantine
WAC 16-752-400 - 415
purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
wand loosestrife Lythrum virgatum
It is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale or to distribute plants, plant parts or seeds of Lythrum salicaria or L. virgatum into or within the state of Washington. It is also prohibited to transplant wildplants and/or plant parts of these species in the state of Washington.
The Lythrum quarantine applies to all Lythrum species including any hybrid cross and all named cultivars, including but not limited to plants with the horticultural names: morden pink, morden gleam, morden rose, the beacon, fire candle, brightness, lady sackville, Mr. Robert, Roberts happy, roseum superbum, purple spire, rose queen, the rocket, dropmore purple and tomentosum.

Negative davecwik On Aug 12, 2003, davecwik from Smiths Creek, MI wrote:

Lythrum virgatum is a highly invasive weed that is destroying swampland in Michigan becuse people bought it beleving it was "sterile." It turned out to only be sterile until four years old when the plant reached maturity and is now a huge problem. If you find it please destroy it.

Negative Terry On Aug 2, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not to be confused with Lysimachia (also called "Loosestrife") this is a beautiful but very invasive spreader, and is considered a noxious weed in many states. It is difficult to find a reputable nursery still selling this plant because of its threat to other less aggressive plants in the wild.

Sterile varities like 'Morden's Pink' are still grown in many home gardens, but gardeners are urged to take extreme care if they insist on growing it, as even the so-called sterile varieties may cross with wild species growing nearby.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Covington, Kentucky
South China, Maine
Romeo, Michigan
Belfield, North Dakota

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