The attractive purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
The attractive purple loosestrife is a native wild plant and an important nectar plant for bees, bumblebees and many other insects and butterflies. The striking flower ornaments are not only a wonderful accent in nature, but also in gardens or on the terrace. Lythrum is a genus of loosestrife plants with square stems, narrow lanceolate leaves and abundant flowers in a wide variety of shapes that are widespread all over the world. In nature, the distinctive plant, which grows to a height of 1.20 metres, prefers swampy and damp habitats. It can therefore also be planted in the garden pond, but loosestrife can also thrive in the garden if it is sufficiently watered. Otherwise, loosestrife is a fairly undemanding plant that does not require much care. Therefore, even the less experienced gardener can buy purple loosestrife and will not be disappointed.
Purple flowers for the garden
Bloody loosestrife perennials fit into very different gardens. The purple flowers are an ornament for a cottage garden, a perennial garden, for park-like areas with watercourses, but also for modern gardens with paved or gravel paths and box hedges. Lythrum goes well with other perennials and cushions with reddish and purple flowers such as verbena or honor grass, but also with many green or white flowering plants such as ferns, hostas or great starthistle. Purple loosestrife is a long-lived and versatile plant that adds visual interest to the garden, but also looks good in the vase. It was not until the 19th century that it arrived in the North of America as a neophyte and spread rapidly throughout the continent. The tannins contained in loosestrife were used in the past to tan leather.
A plant that is as beautiful as it is healing
In ancient times, Lythrum was described as a medicinal plant by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder. Especially in the Middle Ages, purple loosestrife was widely regarded as a medicinal plant. Its blood sugar-lowering properties were attributed to it and it was used to treat skin diseases and gastrointestinal disorders. Loosestrife has been shown to have haemostatic, antibacterial and diuretic effects and can prevent type 2 diabetes. It contains, among other things, ätheric Öle, pectins, coumarsäure and flavone vitexin. In times of need, the plant was consumed as a vegetable. The beautiful perennial also has a water-purifying effect, which is why it is often cultivated in the clearing zone of ponds. The purple loosestrife is therefore a plant that is as beautiful as it is useful and healing, and was already cultivated by humans in the 16th century.