Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'
Common Name: loosestrife 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Primulaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Leaf: Colorful


Easily grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants prefer some part afternoon shade in the St. Louis area. Plants will spread by rhizomes and are self-seeding in optimum growing conditions to form large colonies. Plants tend to be less aggressive if grown in lean, somewhat dry soils, however best performance is in moist fertile soils.

‘Alexander’ is a patented cultivar that only occasionally produces seed, but will not come true from seed. Although it will spread by rhizomes to form colonies, it is much less aggressive in that regard than the species. Variegated foliage tends to brown at the edges when grown in soil that is too dry.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lysimachia punctata, commonly called loosestrife, is native to central/southern Europe and Turkey, but has over time escaped gardens throughout many parts of the northern U.S., particularly in the northeastern states, where it has naturalized in waste places, ditches and along roadsides. It is a rhizomatous perennial that grows to 3’ (infrequently to 4’) tall on stiff upright stems clad with pubescent, ovate to lance-shaped, medium green leaves (to 3” long) in whorls of 3 or 4 (occasionally opposite). Cup-shaped, five-petalled, bright yellow flowers (to 1” across) in axillary whorls bloom from May to September. Additional common names for this plant include yellow loosestrife, garden loosestrife or whorled loosestrife. Notwithstanding the common names, Lysimachia is a member of the primrose family and not the loosestrife family (Lythrum). Lysimachia is not as aggressive a spreader as the infamous purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria.

Genus name honors King Lysimachus (661-281 B.C.), Macedonian King of Thrace and is derived from lysimacheios which was the ancient Greek name of a plant in this grouping.

Specific epithet means spotted.

‘Alexander’ is a patented cultivar featuring distinctive green and white variegated foliage that emerges in spring with pink tinges. U.S. Plant Patent PP10,598 issued September 8, 1998.


No serious insect or disease problems. Lysimachia is susceptible to rust and leaf spots. Plants should be closely monitored to avoid unwanted spread.


Cottage gardens, wild gardens, borders, open woodland gardens, pool peripheries or along streams. Avoid planting near valuable perennials because of potential for rhizomatous spread.