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Winged Loosestrife      Lythrum alatum

The Winged Loosestrife is a woody, multi-branched shrub that grows to a height of 6 feet.  It is a native perennial that can be found from North Carolina to Oklahoma and Texas south through Florida.  It is found in wet depressions, marshes, and wet meadows and prairies.

The flowers form at the leaf axils in the upper portion of the branch stems.  The flowering portion may be up to a foot long.  Typically, 2-5 flowers bloom at a time, slowly ascending the stem as new buds mature.  The tubular flowers have six petals that are pinkish purple in color with a dark mid-vein.  The flowers are about 0.5-inch wide and usually bloom from the spring through the fall.

The leaves are elliptical to lance-shaped, rounded at the base and tapered to a point. The lower leaves are opposite and about 2 inches long and 0.5-inch wide. The leaves become smaller, more oval, and alternate in the upper portions of the plant.

A number of insects, including long-tongued bees, bee flies, and butterflies are attracted to this plant.  Note that the Winged Loosestrife is a native plant that should not be confused with the widely invasive and destructive Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salacaria) that has dense flower spikes.

All of the photos on this page were taken in the Babcock-Webb WMA in Charlotte County.  The time period was the end of June and early July, 2017.

Red-banded Hairstreak

Bumblebee

Honey Bee

The range distribution maps for the Winged Loosestrife are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).