Lythrum salicaria

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaLythraceaeLythrumLythrum salicaria


A perennial herb growing on the margins of slow-flowing rivers, canals, lakes, flooded gravel-pits, in tall-herb fens and willow carr. It thrives in permanently wet, or periodically inundated, fertile soils and tends to avoid acidic conditions. 0-440 m (Lake Ferta, S. Kerry).



World Distribution

Eurasian Temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.

© M. Cotterill, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 9

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1024

Height (cm): 120

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1692

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 827

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 8

Atlas Change Index: -0.08

Weighted Changed Factor: 15

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (142d)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Mal TK, Lovett-Doust J, Lovett-Doust L, Mulligan GA
1992.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 100. Lythrum salicaria. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 72:1305-1330.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.