Whorled Loosestrife - Lysimachia quadrifolia (Primrose family - Primulaceae)

 

Whorled Loosestrife - Lysimachia quadrifolia (Primrose family - Primulaceae) A delicate species with most leaves and flowers in whorls of 4 (3 - 6). Flowers are dotted around center with red. 1 - 3 ft. Open woods, thickets, shores. The generic name honors Lysimachus, a king of ancient Sicily, who, according to tradition, was being chased by a maddened bull and in desperation seized the plant and waved it before the bull, pacifying him.

 

 

 

He released the bull from its strife. The plant was fed to oxen by Colonial farmers in the belief that it pacified them and enabled them to work harmoniously together. The common name derives from the whorls of flowers emerging from the axils of the whorled leaves.

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