Purple Loosestrife



Image courtesy of the Invasive Species Society of British Columbia

Latin name:

Lythrum salicaria

Native to:

Europe and Asia

Regional Distribution:

Purple loosestrife is located in the Columbia Shuswap region at a few localized controlled sites. Continued monitoring and treatment efforts from CSISS will hopefully eradicate this invasive species from our region.


Purple loosestrife is a woody half-shrub, wetland perennial that has the ability to out-compete most native species in BC’s wetland ecosystems. It is found in wet areas at low- to mid-elevations, growing in ditches, irrigation canals, marshes, stream and lake shorelines and shallow ponds.  Purple loosestrife has stiff, four-sided stems ending in dense spikes of showy purple flowers. Plants have narrow, stalkless leaves, growing up to 3 metres in height at maturity.


Mechanical control, such as hand pulling and digging, are used to treat this riparian species.

Fun facts:
Purple loosestrife can be easily confused with the native species Fireweed or the invasive species Dame’s Rocket.

To learn the difference between Dame’s Rocket and Purple Loosestrife please see below.

Purple Loosestrife VS Dame’s Rocket

NOTE: Because of it’s invasive nature, equal care must be given to Dame’s Rocket and Purple Loosestrife.