This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Lysimachia for all occasions

Lysimachia is genus of vigorous yellow-flowered plants, a fair number native to Michigan, and a small number common as garden specimens. They are called loosestrifes, but are unrelated to purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).

I believe it is illegal to import seed or other plant materials of this genus. Like I said, they are vigorous. Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) is a case in point. The first time someone showed it to me, she said, 'uh-oh, bad ju-ju.' It's a low-growing creeping plant that ducks under the blades of lawn mowers; it also established itself in wet sites, riverbanks, and such. When I set up my first aquarium, I was surprised to see it listed as an aquarium plant in my little guide book. So I snatched a piece from the garden and voila! It's been very happy. 

Of the Michigan natives, the only one I've seen in cultivation is fringed loosestrife, L. ciliata. The one that is passed around has purplish leaves. I had it once. It seeded around too much. I eradicated it. This year I planted it again. We'll see. Since I have such dry soil, I don't fear it too much.

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