Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 990 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOOSESTRIFE, in botany, the common name Of Lysimachia vulgaris, an erect plant, 2 to 4 ft. high, common on river banks in England; the branched stem bears tapering leaves in pairs or whorls, and terminal panicles of rather large deep yellow flowers. It is a member of the primrose family. L. nemorum, yellow pimpernel, or wood loosestrife, a low-growing plant with slender spreading stem, and somewhat similar yellow flowers standing singly in the leaf-axils, is frequent in copses. L. Nummularia is the well-known creeping jenny or money-wort, a larger plant with widely creeping stem, pairs of shining leaves and large solitary yellow flowers; it is found on banks of rivers and damp woods, and is a common rockery plant. Purple loose strife, Lythrum Salicaria, belongs to a different family, Lythraceae. It is a handsome plant growing 2 to 6 ft. high on river banks and ditches, with a branched angled stem bearing whorls of narrow pointed stalkless leaves and ending in tall tapering spikes of beautiful rose-purple flowers. The flowers are trimorphic, that is to say, exist in three forms which differ in the relative length of the styles and stamens and are known as long-styled, mid-styled and short-styled forms respectively; the size and colour of the pollen also differ. These differences play an important part in the pollination of the flower.
End of Article: LOOSESTRIFE

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