The Purple Loose-strife is common in all parts of England, but you do not find it so abundantly in Scotland. It is a tall, spiky plant, which likes to grow in wet places, and it blooms in late summer and autumn.
The flowers are a rich purple colour which is sometimes almost pink. They grow in circles close round the main stem, and there is always a pair of broad pointed green leaves separating each circle from the one above.
The flowers have six separate petals, which are long and narrow and rather crumpled looking. These petals are placed at the mouth of a green calyx, which is shaped like a thick tube. This tube is ribbed all over, and has six large green teeth and six smaller green teeth round its mouth. If you gently split open this green tube you find two rows of stamens clinging to its sides. These stamens have purply-pink heads, and there are six long ones which stand up in the centre of the flowers, and six which are shorter and hidden out of sight.
The leaves of the Purple Loose-strife are dark green. Usually they are covered with fine hairs, but sometimes you find leaves which are quite smooth. It is easy to recognise this plant by the rings of flowers growing close round the main stem.
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