Lysimachia ciliata L. - Fringed Loosestrife

Lysimachia ciliata plant

Family - Primulaceae




Lysimachia ciliata leaves

Lysimachia ciliata petioleArrow shows fringed petiole.




Lysimachia ciliata calyxCalyx...

Lysimachia ciliata calyx...Again.

Lysimachia ciliata flower

Lysimachia ciliata flower

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Mesic soils of slopes, floodplains, and coves.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This species can be found scattered throughout Alabama but seems to be most common in the northern half of the state. The plant is easily identified by its opposite leaves, yellow flowers, and ciliate leaf petioles. The moist and typically shaded habitat of the plant is another good character for identification.
The species epithet comes from the Latin "cili(a)" meaning "small hair, eyelash, eyelid" referring to the hairs of the petiole.
The genus name Lysimachia derives from the Greek "lys(i)" meaning "loose, a loosening, release from" and "mach(i)" meaning "a fight, strife". Traditionally it was said that Lysimachus (defined below) was being chased by an infuriated bull and, in desperation, picked a plant of loosestrife and waved it in the bulls face to calm it.
Lysimachus (Lysimachos) (360bc - 281bc) was a succesor to Alexander the Great and later became king of Thrace and Asia Minor (306bc). It is said that Alexander, in a fit of anger, locked Lysimachus in a room with a lion only to return to find that Lysimachus had overpowered the animal. After Alexander's death in 323bc, Lysimahcus was appointed to the government of Thrace and Chersonese. In 309bc he built a city at the neck of the Crimean penninsula named Lysimachia (on the site of another city named Kardia). This city was destroyed by an earthquake about 20 years later.
Lysimachia fought many battles while in power but was finally killed at the battle of Corupendium in 281bc. His tomb is apparently still visible somewhere near the old city of Lysimachia in what is now the region of Gallipoli (Gelibolu) in Turkey.

Alabama Distribution:

Lysimachia ciliata map

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 6-10-02, and at Pultite Spring, Shannon County, MO., 6-27-04.

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