Purple loosestrife

Lovely flowers by the seashore

Purple loosestrife, photo Jussi Helimäki.

The purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) grows on shores and is a very common plant. The impressive, purple inflorescences bloom in late summer.

Purple loosestrifes are commonly used as ornamental plants and have many other uses as well. Young shoots are edible and the flowers are used to make red dye for pastries. Purple loosestrife shoots have also traditionally been used in poultices to treat stomach problems and staunch bleeding. Additionally, the plant has also been used in the tanning of leather.