Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) is a lovely tall British native perennial with whorls of broad lanceolate mid-green almost stalkless leaves and clusters of bright yellow cup-shaped flowers with pointed petals 1.5 – 2cm across throughout July and August. A member of the primrose family it has long been considered to have medicinal properties, and has been used to treat mouth and nose bleeding as well as stomach upsets! The smoke it produces when burned supposedly drives away midges and other troublesome insects, hence perhaps the ‘less strife’ or ‘lose (get rid of) strife’ implication in its common name.
One of the few yellow flowerers later in the year, it is designated as RHS Perfect for Pollinators and is pollinated by various species of wasp and is the sole food source for the larvae of a small bee called Macropis Europaea (also known as Macropis labiata), the Yellow loosestrife bee. The bee collects oils produced by the plant to help waterproof its nest.
Planting position: Marginal plant up to 10cm depth or bog garden, in full sun or part shade
Form: 2 litre in an aquatic basket