The Salicaria (Lythrum Salicaria L.): Keep an eye on it!

The Salicaria is a European perennial brought to North America in the last century as an ornamental plant. Its long stems of magenta flowers are very decorative. Unfortunately, it escaped from gardens and invaded wet areas. In this new environment there is no predator or parasite to halt its spread. Thus it supplants plants that cannot match the dense growth from its massive production of seeds and rhizomes. Eventually, the Salicaria ends up taking over the whole space and drying it up. There results a loss of habitat for indigenous damp area fauna and flora.


If Salicariagrows in your shoreline area it is necessary to pull out and destroy the plants (fire or burial site). If you cultivate it in your flowerbeds you must also eliminate it as its fine seeds can be blown by the wind into the shoreline area. You can also replace it with other similar-looking perennials that are not invasive such as Liatris or Véroniques (Veronica spicata). Don’t trust the description of certain Salicaria cultivars (ex.: ‘Robert’ or ‘Terra Nova’) saying that they are not invasive: they also are, though on a smaller scale than the botanical species!

For more information on this plant and other invasive exotic plants in damp areas we invite you to read the following CARA folder: