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Plant Profile: Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides)

This is one of the garden thugs I would not be without! When the flowering spikes emerge in the summer, shaped like a gooseneck and all covered with small white flowers, I fall in love with it all over again. It is a wonderful, playful, whimsical plant that I adore and its rambunctious behavior amuses rather than annoys me. I do have to set limits for it because it wants to wander every where and it is so pretty in mass as well as individually it is hard to retrain it. But like a naughty child, it is easily corrected and set on a more civilized path with a few tugs whenever I see it coming up somewhere it shouldn’t. It is very easy to grow, stands up without supports, and looks charming planted en masse as a flock. In the fall,  gooseneck loosestrife will reward you for your patience with good red and yellow color.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Small white flowers are borne on gooseneck shaped stems tips in mid summer.

Size: 3’ H x 3” W.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Thrives in average to humusy, moist soil.

Hardiness: Zones 3-9.

Care: Deadhead to prolong bloom.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance.

Propagation: Division in spring or fall.

Companion plants: Gayfeather (Liatris spp.), New England Aster such as “Alma Potschke’, bee balm (Monarda spp.), common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale).

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