Lysimachia clethroides
Common Name: gooseneck loosestrife 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Primulaceae
Native Range: China, Japan
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Wet Soil


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, rich, humusy locations in full sun, but spreads by rhizomes and can be very aggressive in these ideal growing conditions. Tends to be somewhat less aggressive if grown in drier soils with light shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lysimachia clethroides, commonly called gooseneck loosestrife, is an erect, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall and spreads aggressively by underground stems to form large colonies. Numerous, tiny, star-shaped, white flowers (1/2" wide) are densely packed into slender, tapered, terminal racemes (12-18" long) which arch above the foliage. As the common name suggests, each gracefully curved raceme is shaped in a manner purportedly resembling a goose's neck. Blooms late spring to early summer. Ovate-lanceolate, medium green leaves are 3-6" long. Valued by florists for fresh cut flower arrangements.

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 resembling the genus Clethra.

The common name of loosestrife is applied to plants in two different genera of two different families: Lysimachia (e.g., gooseneck loosestrife) is in the primrose family and Lythrum (e.g., purple loosestrife) is in the loosestrife family.


No serious insect or disease problems. Aggressive spread (see General Culture section above) is the main shortcoming of this plant.


Best when massed in a wild garden or remote part of the border where it can be allowed to naturalize in broad drifts without posing a threat to less vigorous perennials. May be grown effectively against man-made barriers, such as garages or sheds, where growth would be limited with a minimum of effort. Also may be grown effectively in moist soils along or near streams or ponds or in wet meadows.