Montag, 9. Januar 2012

Plant of the Day (Janurary 9th, 2012) - Lysimachia punctuata L.

In order to give my visitors from the Northern Hemisphere a little portion of spring feeling, today's “Plant of the Day” is Lysimachia punctuata L., a flower from the Primulaceae. In Germany, this plant is known as “Punktierter Gilbweiderich”. To my shame, I have found no exact English name, but the Genus Lysimachia is known as “loosestrife”, while the literally translation of the German name is “punctured loosestrife”.

L. punctuata - habitus
 (note the hairs)

It's a herb with a height until 100 centimetres (39.25 inches) . The hairy stalk grows straight and is unbranched. The leaves are egg-shaped and until 8 centimetres (3 inches) long. They are sitting directly at the stalk in whorls with 3 – 4 leaves per whorl. Their ventral site is punctured with black dots, what also has given the species it's name.

The inflorescence is a special form of the panicle  The pedunculated flowers are located within the axillary (Blattachsel) of the whorls (with 3 to 4 flowers per whorl). Each flower is radial with five yellow petals per flower. The petals have a egg-shaped and ciliated tip.

L. punctuata - habitus

Sometimes, L. punctuata is confused with Lysimachia vulgaris L., but the inflorescence of this species is a normal panicle and the petals have a red-rimmed tip. The leaves are also narrower and longer.

L. punctuata is an oil plant and contains fatty oils as extra gift for pollinators.

L. punctuata - habitus

Originally, this species is native to Turkey and Souther Europe. As popular garden and ornamental plant, it was imported to the countries of Middle and Northern Europe, because of its ability to endure longer periods of frost. These garden plants started to grow wild and today, L. punctuata can also be found outside of Gardens e. g. on roadsides, ruderal wastelands or scrubs It prefers fresh, bright places with a high content of lime within the soil.

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