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purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

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purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria; LOOSESTRIFE FAMILY [Lythraceae])  Tall, stout perennial  wetland herb with long showy purple-magenta flower spikes in late summer.  Leaves opposite or in whorls of 3, stalkless, lance-shaped.  Flowers 5-7 parted, wide, aggregated into long terminal spikes.  Often grows in dense stands from woody taproots and dense mats of fibrous rhizomes.  Introduced as a garden flower, it has escaped and reproduced prolifically throughout most of temperate North America.  It is illegal to sell, distribute, or cultivate purple loosestrife in Wisconsin and several other states.  [087]

 

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