Also known as Yellow Willowherb, Moneywort, String of Sovereigns, Willow Wort and Wood Pimpernel.
Unrelated to Purple Loosestrife (which flowers at the same time of year and in the same habitats), and despite its structural similarity, Yellow Loosestrife is actually a member of the primrose family. It is common throughout the UK and Ireland and can be found in northern European countries, too,
As a general rule it is the early spring flowers that are yellow, but here is a late summer plant that has stunning bright yellow flowers to brighten up the countryside when it is becoming more dominated by blues and pinks.
The yellow flowers (June-September) are borne in long-stalked clusters from the upper leaf axils.
The Yellow Loosestrife is a tall, handsome plant, from 2 to 3 or even 4 feet high,
found as a rule on shady banks or crowning the herbage of the stream-side vegetation. It has a creeping root, which persists year after year, and every spring throws up afresh the tall, golden-topped stems, whose flowers are at their best in July and August.
Each flower is about 3/4 inch in diameter, forming a cup of five petals, quite distinct at their tips, but joined together near the base.
When the flowers droop, the five-pointed calyx, whose edges are fringed with fine red hairs, are seen at the back of the petals. The five stamens look quite separate, but are joined together at the bottom by a fleshy band attached to the petals, so that they seem to stand on a little glandular tube.
An astringent herb, yellow loosestrife is principally used to treat gastro-intestinal conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery, to stop internal and external bleeding and to cleanse wounds
It makes a serviceable mouthwash for treating sore gums and mouth ulcers.
Believed to quieten enraged beasts and, if put about the yoke of oxen, would calm them. Gargle for sore throat. Root infusion for jaundice and urinary problems. Gnats and flies dislike the plant so it was smoked indoors to get rid of them.
Pliny (AD 23-79) recorded that lysimachia, the plant's Latin name, was a tribute to King Lysimachus of Sicily, who was the first to discover its medicinal benefits. The name "loosestrife" refers to the plant's reputed power to prevent conflict, particularly between animals, and to repel insects.
Enjoy the up coming weekend