Lythrum californicum – California Loosestrife
Scientific Name: Lythrum californicum
Common Names: California Loosestrife, Purple Loosestrife
Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Riparian. This wildflower grows in moist soil near water from the deserts to the mountains.
Flower Color: Pinkish purple
Flowering Season: Late spring, Summer, Fall
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, but usually less here
Description: The up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide flowers emerge singly from the leaf axils and have a variable number of crinkled petals (usually 6) and a cylindrical, grooved, green to reddish calyx. The flowers are heterostylous and have either an included or an exserted style. The flowers are followed by egg-shaped seed capsules containing numerous seeds. The leaves are green, sessile, alternate to almost opposite, and linear-lanceolate in shape. The stems are erect, branched, ridged, hairless, and leafy. The plants spread by horizontal rooting stolons, which allows them to become weedy and invasive in some areas.
Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract butterflies.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Lythraceae – Loosestrife family
Genus: Lythrum L. – loosestrife
Species: Lythrum californicum Torr. & A. Gray – California loosestrife
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