Photo: Arne Ader
Purple loosestrife Harilik kukesaba Lythrum salicaria
Wet or fresh habitats suit the purple loosestrife and in such locations the plants can grow up to a metre tall. It is quite evenly distributed, even on the islands. The grey stem of the plant is angular and hairy, the leaves placed opposite or in whorls of three. The reddish-purple flowers in long inflorescences have a quite complicated construction – with a magnifying glass at hand they are worth examining.
A good honey plant and the pollen brought by the bees to the hive is easily distinguishable – dark green.
NB: Kukesaba, the Estonian name of the purple loosestrife, means “cock’s tail”, cf the “cat’s tail”, kassisaba, the spiked speedwell