Saltmarsh Loosestrife
Lythrum lineare

Winged Loosestrife
Lythrum alatum Var. lanceolatum

Lythraceae (Loosestrife) Family

Saltmarsh Loosestrife is a perennial, native to salt and brackish marshlands and flats of coastal Alabama. The leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets) and arranged alternate on the stem. There is one leaf per node. If arranged opposite on the stem, there will be two leaves per node. The leaf blade is entire (no teeth and no lobes). The flowers are symmetrical in form. There will be six whitish petals and six sepals or tepals in the flower. Fusion of the sepals and petals form a cup or tube; stamens number 6. Fruit is a capsule with many tiny seeds that splits open when ripe.

Winged loosestrife is an upright, branching herbaceous plant growing to about 3 feet tall. The stems are woody in the lower parts of the plant, square in cross section with slightly winged angles. The leaves are mostly opposite, no leaf stalk, broadly oblong and tapering towards the tip, smooth (untoothed) margins. The flowers are borne singly or in pairs in the axils of the much reduced upper leaves. The calyx forms a tube about 1/4 inch long and has six pointed teeth. The six rose-pink petals have a magenta central vein and are less than 1/4 inch wide. There are six stamens with pink filaments and purple anthers. The stigma is white and the style green. The ovary is superior and the fruit is an elongated capsule with numerous tiny seeds.

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