loosestrife

/loohs"struyf'/, n.
1. any of various plants belonging to the genus Lysimachia, of the primrose family, having clusters of usually yellow flowers, as L. vulgaris (garden loosestrife) or L. quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife).
2. any of several plants belonging to the genus Lythrum, of the loosestrife family. Cf. purple loosestrife.
[1540-50; LOOSE (v.) + STRIFE, mistranslation of L lysimachia ( < Gk lysimáchei(os) + -a fem. n. suffix; see LYSI-, -MACHY), plant said to be named after a certain Lysímachos; see -IA]

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Any ornamental plant of the family Lythraceae, especially in the genera Lythrum and Decodon, and two genera of the primrose family (Lysimachia and Steironema).

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), native to Eurasia, grows 2–6 ft (0.6–1.8 m) high on riverbanks and in ditches. Its branched stem bears whorls of narrow, pointed, stalkless leaves and ends in tall, tapering spikes of red-purple flowers. Introduced into North America early in the 19th century, it has become a noxious weed in many parts of the U.S. and Canada because its dense growth outcompetes native wetland vegetation that provides food and habitat for wildlife.

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▪ perennial herb
 any of the ornamental plants of the family Lythraceae, especially the genera Lythrum and Decodon, and Lysimachia of the family Myrsinaceae.

      Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), native to Eurasia and now common in eastern North America, grows 0.6 to 1.8 metres (2 to 6 feet) high on riverbanks and in ditches. It has a branched stem bearing whorls of narrow, pointed, stalkless leaves and ending in tall, tapering spikes of red-purple flowers. Purple loosestrife was introduced into North America early in the 19th century. It is now considered a noxious weed in many parts of the United States and Canada, where it forms dense colonies and crowds out native wetland vegetation that provides food and habitat for wildlife. Swamp loosestrife, water willow, or wild oleander (Decodon verticillatus) is a perennial herb native to swamps and ponds of eastern North America.

      The Eurasian yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), an erect plant 0.6 to 1.2 metres (2 to 4 feet) high, is common on riverbanks in England and grows in eastern North America. The branched stem bears tapering leaves in pairs or whorls and terminal clusters of deep-yellow flowers. Yellow pimpernel, or wood loosestrife (L. nemorum), a low plant with slender, spreading stem and solitary, yellow flowers, is common in England. Many species of Lysimachia are visited by bees for the oil contained in hairs on the flowers rather than for nectar or pollen. Fringed loosestrife (Steironema ciliatum), a yellow-flowered perennial, is native to moist parts of North America and common in Europe.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Loosestrife — is the common name of a number of different flowering plants. The species belong to two taxonomic genera, Lythrum , within the family Lythraceae, and Lysimachia , within the family Primulaceae. Lythrum species known as loosestrife include:*… …   Wikipedia

  • Loosestrife — Loose strife (l[=oo]s str[imac]f ), n. (Bot.) (a) The name of several species of plants of the genus {Lysimachia}, having small star shaped flowers, usually of a yellow color. (b) Any species of the genus {Lythrum}, having purple, or, in some… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loosestrife — [lo͞os′strīf΄] n. [ LOOSE, v. + STRIFE: used as transl. of L lysimachia < Gr lysimacheios, understood as “ending strife” < lyein, to loosen, solve (see LYSIS) + machē, battle: from its assumed soothing properties, but prob. after Lysimachia …   English World dictionary

  • loosestrife — noun Etymology: intended as translation of Greek lysimacheios loosestrife (as if from lysis act of loosing + machesthai to fight) more at lysis Date: 1548 1. any of a genus (Lysimachia) of plants of the primrose family with leafy stems and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • loosestrife — noun any of several flowering plants of two different genera, Lythrum (purple loosestrife) or Lysimachia (yellow loosestrife) He had a suit of summer mufti, and a broad brimmed blue beaver hat looped with leaves broken from the hedgerows in the… …   Wiktionary

  • loosestrife — [ lu:sˌstrʌɪf] noun a waterside plant with a tall upright spike of flowers. [Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), Lysimachia vulgaris (yellow loosestrife), and related plants.] Origin C16: from loose + strife, taking the Gk name lusimakheion… …   English new terms dictionary

  • loosestrife — loose•strife [[t]ˈlusˌstraɪf[/t]] n. 1) pln any of various plants belonging to the genus Lysimachia, of the primrose family, having clusters of usu. yellow flowers 2) pln any of several plants belonging to the genus Lythrum, of the loosestrife… …   From formal English to slang

  • loosestrife — /ˈlusstraɪf/ (say loohsstruyf) noun 1. any of various leafy stemmed herbs of the genus Lysimachia, as yellow loosestrife L. vulgaris, a common yellow flowered species. 2. any of various herbaceous plants of the genus Lythrum, as purple… …   Australian English dictionary

  • loosestrife — n. 1 any marsh plant of the genus Lysimachia, esp. the golden or yellow loosestrife, L. vulgaris. 2 any plant of the genus Lythrum, esp. the purple loosestrife L. salicaria, with racemes of star shaped purple flowers. Etymology: LOOSE + STRIFE,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • loosestrife — paprastoji šilingė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Raktažolinių šeimos dažinis, vaistinis augalas (Lysimachia vulgaris), paplitęs Europoje ir Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Lysimachia vulgaris angl. loosestrife; willowweed; willowwort šaltinis… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

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