Invasive Plant

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

About This Species

Purple loosestrife is a pretty perennial plant that spreads rapidly by seed and root fragments. The tiny seeds are dispersed by wind, mud, moving water, wildlife and humans. A mature plant can produce up to 2.5 million seeds that can survive in the soil for up to 20 years. Purple loosestrife grows in wetlands and aquatic habitats, as well in wet pastures and roadside ditches and is quite easily recognized by its flowers.

How to Identify

Purple loosestrife has a shrub-like appearance, stiff, four-sided stems ending in dense spikes of showy pinkish-purple flowers. It has narrow, stalkless leaves. Plants can grow up to 3 meters in height. Purple loosestrife is often confused with the native plant fireweed.


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Prevention is the best approach.

Clean, Drain, Dry

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The Clean Drain Dry program empowers you to help reduce the spread of invasive plants and organisms to BC waters by following the clean, drain, dry procedure on all watercraft and equipment.

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Learn about best practices

A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Purple loosestrife include:

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