Lysimachia ciliata

A summer wildflower with yellow, nodding star-shaped flowers on erect stems

Lysimachia ciliata fringed loosestrife

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This native perennial wildflower is a member of the primrose family. It is primarily a summer wetland plant, growing in damp woods, swamps, thickets and flood plains throughout much of North America, except for the Southwest. It is a common plant in Pennsylvania, blooming for about a month and a half between June and August.

Fringed loosetrife has an erect stem with scattered yellow, star-shaped flowers rising on stalks in the axils of opposite leaves. The flowers tend to be “nodding" - pointed downwards and thus sometimes are difficult to photograph for that reason. There is a reddish-brown ring near the center of the flower, formed by spots at the base of each petal. The ¾ inch flowers have five yellow petals with tiny teeth towards the ends. The petals also come to a sharp point. There are 10 stamens but only five are fertile. A single pale-green pistil is in the center. Usually only a few flowers are in bloom at any one time.

This flower is unusual because it produces no nectar, but rewards pollinators with floral oil as well as edible pollen. This combination attracts a species of Melittid Bee called Macropis steironematis that only visits this flower. The resulting fruit is a capsule. The plant can reproduce by seed or spread by rhizome.

The upper end of its leaf stalks are fringed with spreading hairs, giving the plant its common name. The other parts of the stem are hairless. The leaves are lance-shaped or oval and are 2 ½-5 inches long, with hairy petioles. Fringed loosestrife grows 1-4 feet high. Though some consider it a weed, others include it in their wildflower gardens. Plant breeders have produced a number of cultivars.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Grows in low, moist ground of fields, shores of streams, and floodplains.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers June through August.

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