Lysimachia punctata L.

Common Name: Large yellow loosestrife

Synonyms and Other Names:

spotted loosestrife, dotted loosestrife, circle flower, whorled loosestrife

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Identification: Lysimachia punctata is a rhizomatous perennial with stiff, upright stems, ovate to lance-shaped pubescent leaves arranged in whorls of three or four, and cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers that bloom from May-September in axillary whorls (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2019). It can be distinguished from the invasive garden loosestrife Lysimachia vulgaris by the placement of its flowers on leaf axils rather than in clusters at the tops of stalks (Thurston County Noxious Weed Control, 2016). L. punctata is also distinguished from the similar L. verticillaris by the absence of an orange area on the base of petals, its entirely leafy bracts, and a more elongate rhizomatous habit (McAllister, 1999).

Size: 3-4 feet

Native Range: From southeast Europe to the Caucasus (Stace, 2010).

This species is not currently in the Great Lakes region but may be elsewhere in the US. See the point map for details.

Table 1. States/provinces with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state/province, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Lysimachia punctata are found here.

State/ProvinceFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
MI198020036Betsie-Platte; Boardman-Charlevoix; Dead-Kelsey; Michigamme; Ontonagon; Pine
NC202020202Upper Catawba; White Oak River
OR201920191Lower Columbia-Sandy

Table last updated 2/27/2023

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Lysimachia punctata spreads rhizomatically and is self-seeding in optimum growing conditions, and can form large colonies. This species thrives in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soils from part-shade to full sun (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2019). It commonly grows in wet riparian areas along creeks or ditches.

Means of Introduction: Lysimachia punctata has a high probability of introduction to the Great Lakes (Confidence level: low).

Potential pathway(s) of introduction: unauthorized intentional release, stocking/planting/escape from recreational culture.

As a flowering ornamental, Lysimachia punctata is available for purchase at garden centers, and no regulations exist on its sale.

Status: Present in North America, but not established in the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Impacts: Lysimachia punctata has a moderate probability of establishment if introduced to the Great Lakes (Confidence level: Low).
While environmental conditions and habitat availability in the Great Lakes region are amenable to this species, little research exists on other variables that may influence its establishment.

Current research on the potential for environmental impacts to result from Lysimachia punctata if introduced to the Great Lakes is inadequate to support proper assessment.
This species spreads rhizomatically and forms dense stands that can crowd out other plants, but is not as aggressive as other related species (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2019).

There is little or no evidence to support that Lysimachia punctata has the potential for significant socioeconomic impacts if introduced to the Great Lakes.
No studies have reported on the socio-economic impacts of controlling this fairly common garden ornamental.

There is little or no evidence to support that Lysimachia punctata has the potential for significant beneficial impacts if introduced to the Great Lakes.
Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the showy yellow flowers of this species, which are also considered attractive in landscaping (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2019). This species is widely sold as a garden ornamental, and its leaves and flowers are sometimes boiled and consumed as tea to help with abdominal pain (Kargioglu et al., 2008).

Management: Management:
Regulations (pertaining to the Great Lakes region)
None reported.
Note: Check federal, state/provincial, and local regulations for the most up-to-date information.

There are no known biological control methods for this species, though it is susceptible to rust and leaf spots (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2019).

While mowing can prevent seed production, the remaining plant is likely to resprout. This species’ rhizomatic root system makes complete removal difficult, and careful digging is recommended to remove all parts of the plant (Thurston County Noxious Weed Control, 2016).

No chemical control methods have been used on this species specifically, though its invasive relative Lysimachia vulgaris has been effectively managed with imazapyr and triclopyr TEA in both terrestrial and wetland sites (Thurston County Noxious Weed Control, 2016).

Note: Check state/provincial and local regulations for the most up-to-date information regarding permits for control methods. Follow all label instructions.

Remarks: Remarks: Despite its common name, this species is actually a member of the primrose family rather than a true loosestrife (Lythrum), and is not as aggressive in its spread as either the infamous purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria or its close relative Lysimachia vulgaris, the garden loosestrife.

References: (click for full references)

Kargioglu, M., Cenkci, S., Serteser, A., Evliyaoglu, N., Konuk, M., Kök, M.S. and Bagci, Y. 2008. An Ethnobotanical Survey of Inner-West Anatolia, Turkey. Human Ecology 36: 763-777.

McAllister, H.A. 1999. Lysimachia punctata L. and L. verticillaris Sprengel (Primulaceae) naturalised in the British Isles. Watsonia 22: 279-28.

Missouri Botanical Garden. 2019. Lysimachia punctata.

Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725.

Thurston County Noxious Weed Control. 2016. Garden Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris).

Author: Lower, E.

Contributing Agencies:

Revision Date: 6/26/2019

Citation for this information:
Lower, E., 2023, Lysimachia punctata L.: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI,, Revision Date: 6/26/2019, Access Date: 6/6/2023

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.