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Lysimachia - Loosestrife

Lysimachia is a genus of at least 165 species of annuals or perennials. They have traditional been placed in the Primrose family Primulaceae, but now appears to be placed in Myrsinaceae instead. Most are herbaceous but a few are woody shrubs. They come from temperate to subtropical areas of the world and are normally found growing in moist soils. They have leafy stems, with simple leaves that can be alternate, opposite or whorled on the stem, the leaves are often dotted with glandular hairs. Most species have yellow flowers, but some are white and there are even pink and blue flowering species. The flowers have 5 or 6 sepals and 5 to 7 petals, and 5 to 7 stamens that are attached to the sides of the petals. When done blooming, the flowers are replaced by a 5 valved capsule. Most are easy grown, as long as the soil does not become dry - under dry conditions the leaves can develop burnt edges and the flowers might not open. They can be grown in full sun and most do well in bright open shade. Like many plants that grow in damp soils, they have a tendency to spread, and some have been called thugs - but utilized properly these species often make the best ground covers when the soil can be wet at times and other plants rot. Many do well in normal garden soils, as long as they are not in full sun all day or the soil is allowed to become dry. They put on a nice display of flowers, which end the top of the stems or are produced one the stem with small leafy bracts. They have the common name Loosestrife but should not be confused with Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria); what adds to the confusion is that the genus , which Lythrum salicaria belongs to, is in Lythraceae - which is often called the Loosestrife family.