Sunday, June 14, 2009

Whorled Loosestrife

I discovered the native perennial Whorled Loosestrife, Lysimachia quadrifolia, during yesterday's late afternoon walk.

I found this interesting piece taken from a book written quite some time ago by Mrs. Dana:

"This slender pretty plant grows along the roadsides and attracts one's notice in June by its regular whorls of leaves and flowers. Linnaeus says that this genus is named after Lysimachus, King of Sicily. Loosestrife is the English for Lysimachus but whether the ancient superstition that the placing of these flowers upon the yokes of oxen rendered the beasts gentle and submissive arose from the peace suggestive title or from other causes I cannot discover."

Here's a view across the lake from the above photos a short time later.

Dana, Mrs. William Starr. How To Know The Wildflowers. New York, 1920. Google Book Search. Web. 13 Jun 2009.


  1. I'm supposed to be "working" on my project right now as my deadline inches ever closer- but I couldn't resist a comment on today's post- Mrs. William Starr Dana's (Frances Theodora Parsons) book "How to Know the WIld Flowers" is one of my all time treasures! My edition is from 1908; along with F.Schyuler Mathews and one other book called "Flowers and Ferns in Their Haunts" by Mabel Osgood Wright (1901), they have proven to be some of my best sources for helping ID all my discoveries as I tramp the woods and fields around my lake. Mabel helped establish the Audobon Society of Connecticut and was its first president. Her writing tends to be a bit excessive in its overly "flowery" style (pun intended) vs. Mrs. Dana's more straightforward field guide style (which I prefer) but still makes a good addition to my collection none the less.
    It's been a zoo around here this past week-literally! I watched a mother moose and calf in our beaver pond on Tuesday for almost 20 minutes before they sensed me and ambled off and we had a grey fox and two kits in our backyard; our goose family ( 2 parents+5 babies) have been making their daily afternoon patrol around the yard as well. Many painted turtles and snappers are coming up from the cove now to lay their eggs in our front garden!
    Love the soft focus birches from yesterday!

  2. Hey, a little diversion is probably a good thing. :-)

    I love poking through these old timers on Google Books and I'm collecting quite an electronic library of them. Thanks for the pointer to the Wright book--I've added it here.

    Wow! I've never seen a moose or a grey fox. That must be so cool. The goslings down this way are already half the size of their parents.

    Baby birds everywhere! I just a few minutes ago photographed a catbird fledgling. Once I spooked it, its little wings were beating furiously but its fat little body still made a steady descent into a fern patch.

    Good luck on the project...