Sunday, June 25, 2023

Fringed loosestrife - Lysimachia ciliata

Fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) is a perennial wildflower native to only Jackson, Gadsden, and Liberty Counties in the central Panhandle region of Florida, but it is common throughout much of the U.S. except California and Nevada in the far Southwest.  Throughout its vast range in our nation, it occurs in seasonally wet soils along stream banks and similar habitats with rich organic soils and in shady to partially sunny areas.

This species dies back to the ground in early winter and reemerges in early spring.  Eventually, it reaches a mature height of nearly 3 feet.  It produces an upright thin stalk that is unbranched or slightly branched. The leaves are simple and lanceolate, and they occur opposite each other.  As its name implies, the leaf stems are covered with simple hairs.  

Flowering occurs in early summer (May, June).  The bright yellow blooms are about 1 inch across and are produced in open clusters atop the main stem.  They are especially attractive to bees.  Pollinated flowers form rounded seed capsules

This showy wildflower would make a nice addition to a moist area in the understory of a deciduous woodland or partly sunny wetland edge.  It has never, to my knowledge, been sold commercially by members of FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, but it is available by many native nurseries north of us.  How these seeds/plants would fare in Florida is unknown.

These photos were taken by my friend, Floyd Griffith and used by permission.

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