poetry and prose about place

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata L.)

with 6 comments

In any season, I think it is important to slow down and look closely at the ground to catch a glimpse of the natural diversity occurring there.    This time of year, in our snowy climate, there are tracks to find, evergreens to notice, and seeds and berries to discover.

Since I am trained as a botanist, looking down is the norm for me.  Often, I fail to look up and see the landscape and horizon.  When we first bought our lake property, it was quite a while before I looked across the lake and realised there were farms and a church on the opposite shore!     

As a result, I identify strongly with Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata L.), a yellow flower we find growing along the lakeshore in early summer.  It has a downward-facing flower and can only ‘see’ the ground.  Its shy demeanour encourages close inspection, but you have to get your own eyes quite low to see a view of its ‘face’. 

Fringed Loosestrife has five yellowish-green petals and a reddish center and blooms from May to July.  The petals are fringed and each is tipped with a ‘tooth’.

The genus is called after King Lysimachus of Thrace who, in legend, used the plant to calm a maddened bull.  Ciliata comes from the Latin word cilium meaning eyelash, referring to the hairs on the stem of each leaf.

Fringed Loosestrife grows in thickets and along shorelines like ours.


Fringed Loosestrife

            (Lysimachia ciliata L.)


at the edge of lake are two perspectives:

distant and near

horizon and shore



            low hills and orchard

            a farm, a steepled church

            the flat of the lake

            three waterfowl


the shore

            yellow Loosestrife

            Fringed petals

            look down


red eye studies

            flat rock and sticky bedstraw

            a wood frog, a feather fern

            winterberry petals new-fallen

            shoe leather, shoe laces


©  Jane Tims  2011


Written by jane tims

December 12, 2011 at 6:42 am

6 Responses

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  1. I enjoy these informative and artistic posts, Jane- well-done!


    Watching Seasons

    December 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

  2. Looking down is the norm for me too, Jane, but then I often kneel or lie on the ground so I can look up to my subjects. I expect you do the same to make your lovely sketches.

    Steve Schwartzman


    Steve Schwartzman

    December 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    • Hi. Thanks! I wish I could sketch from live plants this time of year, but I have to use photos. As you can see, my photos are often on the blurry side, but my pencil can correct the blur! Jane


      jane tims

      December 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

  3. is this related to purple loosestrife?



    December 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

    • Hi. No they aren’t in the same family at all, just share the common name. The Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia) is in the Primrose family and Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria L.) is in the Loosestrife Family. It shows why we need Latin names. Jane


      jane tims

      December 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

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