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Fringed loosestrife

Lysimachia ciliata

Lysimachia ciliata

Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Size

Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Height: 1-4'

Spread: 2-3'

Flowering period: June

Positioned upon long, delicate stalks, fringed loosestrife’s nodding yellow blooms hang dreamily in the open spaces among the plant’s leaves. The flowers are quite unusual in the plant world in that they produce floral oil rather than nectar. Several species of specialist bees in the genus Macropis utilize the oil, mixing it with the plant’s pollen and feeding the result to their larvae. Although the larvae rely on fringed loosestrife and other closely related plants for their nutrition, the adult bees consume nectar from a wide range of flowers and thus play a role in pollinating many plant species. Other bee visitors to fringed loosestrife are the small sweat bees, which are also responsible for pollinating numerous other plants, especially within the Asteraceae (i.e., sunflower) family.

Well adapted to soils of wet to average moisture, fringed loosestrife blooms at approximately the same time as the pink-and-white flowered swamp milkweed, and if planted together, the two plants make for a colorful midsummer show. Due to fringed loosestrife’s shade tolerance, it is a fine choice for parts of the yard with suboptimal light availability. A modestly sized plant (1-3’ tall), fringed loosestrife spreads via seed and rhizome and works well for filling in space among other short-statured species. With its rare floral attributes, relatively early bloom time, and wide sun-shade adaptability, this native resident of NE Ohio wet woods and meadows has much to offer to the home landscape.

References: 1,2,3,4,5,6.

Photo by Ashley Keesling. Photo 2 by Julie Slater.

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