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Lysimachia terrestris

Lysimachia terrestris (L.) Britton Sterns & Poggenb.

Lysimachia terrestris (L.) Britton Sterns & Poggenb. var. ovata (Rand & Redf.) Fernald

Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyPrimulaceaePrimrose family
GenusLysimachiaNamed for Lysimachus, a king of ancient Sicily, who “calmed a mad ox” with a member of this species
SpeciesterrestrisLatin for “on land”

About plant names...

Swamp candles—a marvelously appropriate name—sport their ghostly flames along the edges of fresh water, includ­ing lakes, swamps, ponds, and seasonally wet areas. They are North American natives.

Plants: 9-36" (22-91 cm) tall, on unbranched or sparingly-branched stems. Stems are light green, with a circular cross section, and smooth.

Leaves: Usually opposite, dotted, 1¼-4" (3.2-10 cm) × ¼-¾" (6.3-19 mm), linear to elliptic, and entire. Leaf tops are hairless; bottoms are paler green and sometimes hairy. Leaves may have no petiole (leaf stem), or a short one.

Flowers: Flowers are the identifying feature of swamp candles, arranged in a near-perfect cylindrical raceme 4-12" (10-30 cm) long, facing outward in all directions, flowering from the bottom up, like a flame racing up a dry plant. Each flower is a five-pointed yellow star, ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, with five stamens and a green ovary with a single style. There are two red spots at the base of each petal. Flowers appear from June to August.

Fruits: Fruits are pocked with small depressions, and ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-3.5 mm) in length. This plant produces curious bublets, segmented red “fruits” at leaf axils, resembling little red hairless caterpillars. I cannot find any credible information on the purpose of the bulblets.

Online References:

Lysimachia terrestris at Illinois Wildflowers

Lysimachia terrestris at Minnesota Wildflowers

Lysimachia terrestris on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Lysimachia terrestris on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Lysimachia terrestris on eFloras

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 194

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

9/28/2013 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia Naitonal Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 7 × 9" (16 × 21 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 20 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 7" (14 × 19 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 7" (13 × 17 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 7 Jul 2017.

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Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

9/20/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 15 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 5 × 4" (13 × 10 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

6/24/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Ctr, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 14 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

6/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

9/28/2013 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia Naitonal Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 7 × 8" (16 × 21 cm)

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

The red “carrots” are bulbets. · 9/16/2016 · Sieur de Monts Botanical Gardens, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Lysimachia terrestris (Swamp Candles, Bog Loosestrife, Lake Loosestrife, Earth Loosestrife, Bulbil Loosestrife)

9/20/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 5 × 7" (13 × 17 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

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