Whorled Loosestrife

Whorled_Loosestrife_jpgThis family (Primulaceae) commonly called the Primrose family consists of 22 genera and 800 species of herbs and half-shrubs found chiefly in temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere and in tropical mountains.  Some species are ornamentals, including species of Primula andCyclamen.  Most Cyclamens grown in pots are cultivars of Cyclamen persicum (“of Persia”).  The name Primrose is from the Middle English primerose, from Medieval Latin prim rosa (first rose). During the American Revolution, patriots refused to drink tea from England.  Whorled Loosestrife was dried, steeped and consumed as tea.  It was known as “Liberty Tea”. The leaves and stalks of Whorled Loosestrife yield brown-yellow dye.  In earlier times, the gels and ointments prepared from this plant were used externally for dermatological purposes.  Whorled Loosestrife has astringent properties.

OtherCommonName:

Crosswort, Five-Sisters, Four-Leaved Loosestrife, Liberty Tea, Wild-Tea, Yellow-Balm

ScientificName:

Lysimachia Quadrifolia

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

PlantHeight:

1 to 3 feet

FruitingTime:

August to October

Distribution:

Maine to South Carolina ~ Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Early June to Mid August

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Erect grows from a short rhizome ~ Short branches ~ Leaves firm, linear 1 to 3 inches long ~ Flowers in terminal clusters ~ grows in moist to dry sunny ground of the thin woods