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Purple loosestrife vs cardinal flower

Posted by debra_boston Zone 5 - Boston (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 20, 09 at 14:15

Hi all,

I live on a small pond and we have oodles of purple loosestrife everywhere. I have been yanking up that stuff for years since it chokes waterways and is considered a major nuisance. However, it reseeds prolificly and if you don't know much about it, it looks like "pretty purple flowers..." Due to living on the pond, the edge of property is quite wet and stays that way, so naturally I try to incorporate all of the moisture loving plants there. I have red cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis) and blue cardinal flower, but much to my chagrin, I think I have been yanking them out!!!! because before they flower the leaf bracts look (to me) a lot like the dastardly purple loostrife!! Can anybody tell me how to tell the difference between them so I don't yank the one I want out my mistake? Help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Purple loosestrife vs cardinal flower

Lobelias have alternate leaves and often a rosette of basal leaves when young. Purple loosestrife has opposite leaves and a squarish stem, and do not have many basal leaves.

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