Lythrum californicum Torr. & A. Gray
Family: Lythraceae
California loosestrife,  more...
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Liz Makings  
Jepson 2012, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougal 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Herbaceous perennials, to 1.5 m tall, stems many, leafy and erect, branching above, 4-angled and gray-glaucous with exfoilating bark, plants with stoloinferous roots. Leaves: Lower opposite, linear to lance-linear, upper alternate, linear, blades 1-7 cm long, surfaces gray-glaucous. Flowers: Rose purple, with 6 spatulate or oblong petals, sometimes apiculate or minutely lobed, with darker purple veins evident down the middle of the petals, corollas 8-10 mm long, petals 4-8 mm long, borne on the throat of the calyx, epicalyx lobes horn-like, to 1 mm long or more, sepals to 1 mm long, stamens 6, yellow with yellow anthers, included or exserted and inserted on the calyx throat, styles of 2 forms, yellow, inserted or exserted, hypanthium cylindric and 4-7 mm long, flowers 1-2 per axil, pedicels 1-3 mm long. Fruits: Ovoid capsules with 2 valves. Seeds numerous. Ecology: Found on wet soils, in marshes, pond and stream margins, to 7,500 ft (2286 m); flowering April-September. Distribution: Arizona, California, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah; Mexico. Notes: These plants have pretty purple flowers with 6 petals, and yellow exserted stamens, anthers, and styles, the plants can become large under favorable conditions, and may grow together in dense masses. Dead plants are somewhat persistent, turning brown throughout, the long infloresences with persistent fruits. Found in Arizona in all counties except Pinal and Greenlee. Ethnobotany: Plant used medicinally and for washing hair. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher2012 Etymology: Lythrum comes from the Greek lythron meaning "blood," and alluding to the color of the flowers or to the reputed styptic (tending to contract or bind, tending to check bleeding) qualities of some species, and californicum means of or from California.
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E. Makings  
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Liz Makings  
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Liz Makings  
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Liz Makings  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Megan Gladbach  
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