Oct. 14, 2018

whorled loosestrife, Lysimachia quadrifolia

Here we have even more loosestrife confusion. Can we clear it up? Probably not. Quadriflora and quadrifolia just seem too much alike. The unitiated will likely always have moments of confusion, and the oldtimers always have brain burps. But let's try. Yesterday's prairie loosestrife, L. quadriflora, has very narrow leaves, less than a quarter inch wide. Whorled has leaves a half inch or more wide, mostly with four at each node, evenly spaced around the stem. This arrangement is whorled. Hence quadrfolia, or four leaf. The flowers are one each in leaf axils, so this could have been quadriflora. Both plants were named by Sims in 1803. Could he have been pranking us? And of course, neither plant, nor their yellow flowered kin, share anything but a name with their purple namesake. Whorled hangs out in woods and borders in AL, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, NB, ON, and QC(L). Kitty Todd Preserve, Lucas Co OH, 6/13/17.