The gooseneck loosestrife scores with white flower clusters in the shape of a gooseneck and spectacular red autumn leaves. This is how you plant and care for it.
Profile of gooseneck loosestrife:
Scientific name: Lysimachia clethroides
Plant family: primrose family (Primulaceae)
Other names: clethra loosestrife
Sowing time: spring
Planting time: spring or autumn
Flowering period: July to September
Location: sunny to partially shady
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flowerbeds, flower bouquets, group planting, borders, flower garden, natural garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 (-32 °C / -25 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of gooseneck loosestrife
Plant order, origin and occurrence of gooseneck loosestrife
The gooseneck loosestrife is one of about 150 species of the genus Lysimachia. It originates from the Far East. In China and Japan, the perennial grows on the edges of forests and paths as well as along streams or sunny slopes. Garden relatives include the much better known dotted loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) and the moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia). The gooseneck loosestrife would certainly have deserved the same attention as its relatives, especially because it fits into the garden much better and, above all, it spreads less expansively. Its beauty unfolds the still unrecognized perennial jewel only in a location that is sufficiently supplied with water. The gooseneck loosestrife belongs to the .
Characteristics of gooseneck loosestrife
Gooseneck loosestrife is an impressive, wide and deciduous perennial with upright shoots up to 90 centimeters (36 in) long and with soft hairs. It spreads over short rhizomes and needs some space in the bed to show itself to advantage. However, the gooseneck loosestrife is much less expansive than the dotted loosestrife, but it is rather unsuitable for small areas. Due to its bushy growth, the perennial is very compact, almost like a shrub.
The 13 centimeter (4.2 in) long leaves stand alternately. They are typically narrow lancet-shaped, ending in a tip. The underside is clearly brighter than the medium green upper side.
Between July and September, the terminal, approximately 1 cm wide, cream-colored to white star-shaped flowers open closely together. They are grouped in terminal racemes of 10 to 20 centimeters long, tapering upwards and tapering more narrowly. The racemes hang before the flower and then straighten up, although the tips are still slightly curved. Honeybees love the blossoms and butterflies literally besiege the perennials.
The flowers develop into spherical capsules.
Gooseneck loosestrife – cultivation and care
Lysimachia clethroides likes a place in the sun or partially shady. With wind protection the high shoots are more stable. Severe winters make the shrub freeze back somewhat.
The soil for the gooseneck loosestrife should be fresh, better humid, but also permeable. A richness of humus is also desired. The soil should never dry out completely, even in summer. A drier substrate is better tolerated in a less sun-exposed location. The soil reaction should preferably be slightly acidic.
Lysimachia clethroides needs space because of its size and its urge to spread. Some ripe compost can be worked into the soil if there is a lack of nutrients. When planting in autumn, the perennial should be protected with brushwood.
Care / Watering / Fertilization / Pruning
Composting in spring is desired by the gooseneck loosestrife. The inflorescences are cut off after withering, sometimes the plant loses them by itself, so that the perennial always looks attractive. Lysimachia clethroides should be covered with some brushwood to protect it from frost. Before doing so, the shoots should be cut back about a hand’s breadth above the ground. If you mulch, the moisture is retained better in the soil, which is good for the gooseneck loosestrife.
If the clumps become bald after a few years or even decades, then the right time for dividing has come, which is done before or after flowering. To do this, the perennials are lifted out of the ground and vital parts are put back in place.
The seeds germinate quickly at constant humidity and temperatures around 20 °C / 68 °F. The seeds are only pressed slightly on, not covered with soil, as they need light to germinate. A division of the rootstock is also possible in spring or autumn. To do this, it is lifted out of the ground and strong sections are cut off with a sharp spade.
Diseases and pests
Snails literally attack young plants. A precautionary protection is therefore recommended.
The gooseneck loosestrife is hardy down to -32 °C / -25 °F. When planting in autumn, the young perennial should be protected with brushwood.
Use in the garden
The gooseneck loosestrife with its wild herbaceous flair fits into natural beds with plenty of moisture, in a meadow-like ambience or on the moist edge of a wood, if the rooting is not too intensive. Because of its height it is often placed in the background. In front of the backdrop of dark foliage it is very effective. Suitable partners are other moisture-loving perennials such as wood goatee or carnation root. The white panicles also look pretty in contrast to blue larkspur or pink phlox. In exactly this combination, Lysimachia clethroides also shows to advantage in the vase.
‘Lady Jane’ shines with pure white flower spikes and red autumn leaves. The variety remains somewhat smaller than the species. The variety ‘Snow Candle’ looks very similar, reaching a height of 70 centimeters (28 in). ‘Autumn Snow’ is wintergreen and is with about 40 centimeters (16 in) the dwarf among the gooseneck loosestrife varieties.