Lysimachia atropurpurea

Lysimachia atropurpurea    copyright  2003 Mark McDonough

Lysimachia atropurpurea
- from Greece, this has become my new favorite "weed".
A biennial, it makes flat rosettes of gray marbled leaves, and in the 2nd year creates
a veritable forest of upright stems to 2'-3' (60-90 cm) with striking Eryngium-like silver
foliage and narrow spires of tiny flowers in black currant.  In various light conditions
the plant takes on different dramatic aspects.  Plants flower continuously from late
spring and throughout summer. In late summer the seed spent blooms transform
into incredibly spiny spires of seed capsules, the spines resulting from the sharp,
hardened remnant of each floral pistil.

Lysimachia atropurpurea    copyright  2003 Mark McDonough


Shown here on a cloudy day (below), the narrow spires appear particularly
dark, an almost black-red, in striking contrast to the foliage. Two named
cultivars appear in nursery and seed lists; 'Geronimo' and 'Beaujolais'.
From photos I have seen of these, they look identical to the "type" species.

Lysimachia atropurpurea    copyright  2003 Mark McDonough

Photos by Mark McDonough

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This page was last updated on 11/03/03