CPC Plant Profile: Roughleaf Loosestrife
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Plant Profile

Roughleaf Loosestrife (Lysimachia asperulifolia)

This shot shows several rough-leaved loosestrife plants in full bloom with yellow flowers. Photo Credit: Rob Gardner
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Primulaceae
  • State: NC, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 129563
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/01/1990

Rough-leaved loosestrife is a perennial herb endemic to the coastal plain and sandhills of North Carolina and South Carolina. It grows to about 24 inches tall, has whorled leaves in 3s and 4s, and displays 5-petaled yellow flowers from late May to early June (USFWS 1995). Jean Louis Poiret first discovered L. asperulifolia in 1814. Rough-leaved loosestrife occurs mostly in ecotones between longleaf pine uplands and pond pine pocosins. It is associated with six different community types; low pocosin, high pocosin, sandhill seep, wet pine flatwoods, pine savanna, and streamhead pocosin (USFWS 1995). It is a federally endangered species with only 64 populations left, all but one in being in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Rough-leaved loosestrife is a misnomer since it has smooth leaves. Its leaves are actually named for their resemblance to Asperula ororata of Europe.

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Center for Plant Conservation
  • 11/25/2021
  • Reintroduction

Johnny Randall and Michael Kunz designed and carried out a translocation of individuals due to a North Carolina Department of Transportation mitigation. Plants were transplanted to two different sites. The rhizomes were dug in the dormant season and in the growing season to compare success rates. Initially, different management techniques were employed to explore the effect of different treatments on the success of both types of rhizomes.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

There are sixty-four extant populations, clustered into a few ""metapopulations"" in small areas of the Coastal Plain of North Carolina (with one site in adjacent South Carolina). These probably include a low number of genetic individuals as the plants are clonal and sexual reproduction rates appear to be poor. There are sixteen extirpated populations and the species continues to decline due to landscape trends that are accelerating, especially fire suppression and recreational, industrial, and residential development. Using prescribed burns as a management tool is often difficult or prohibitively dangerous due to the typically high fuel loads within the shrubby pocosins. Where burning does occur, however, the species appears to be able to rebound vigorously - at one site, a sizeable population appeared only months after a fire went through an area that had previously been thick with 2 m tall shrubs.

  • 01/01/2010

Drainage and development of habitat Fire suppression Land conversion

  • 01/01/2010

64 total extant populations (USFWS 1995). Several new populations in Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, and Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal in NC and Fort Jackson, SC.

  • 01/01/2010

Frantz (1983, 1984) studied aspects of basic and reproductive biology of Rough-leaved loosestrife. Thorough surveys through North Carolina have been conducted. Research has also been conducted through NCSU investigating changes in flowering stem distribution, pollinator behavior, and seed production following prescribed burns.

  • 01/01/2010

Most sites are under some sort of management (generally prescribed fire) by a Federal or State agency or a private conservation organization. These include The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, NC State Parks, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, and Carolina Power and Light (USFWS 1995)

  • 01/01/2010

Research needs include population biology studies such as flower incompatibility, artificial pollination, seed dispersal and establishment, genetic variability, and comparisons between individuals and groups of individuals (TNC 1999). Management needs include more inclusive site protection and habitat management (prescribed fire).

  • 01/01/2010

Seed collection from all extant populations


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Taxon Lysimachia asperulifolia
Authority Poir.
Family Primulaceae
CPC Number 2750
ITIS 23986
Common Names dough-leaved loosestrife | roughleaf yellow loosestrife | Carolina yellow loosestrife | rough-leaved loosestrife
Associated Scientific Names Lysimachia asperulifolia | Lysimachia asperulaefolia
Distribution Southern coastal plain and sand hills of North Carolina and the sand hills of South Carolina (USFWS 1995).
State Rank
State State Rank
North Carolina S3
South Carolina S1

Ecotones between longleaf pine uplands and pond pine pocosins typically and occasionally lake and pond margins, hillside seeps, boggy seeps and meadows, and low pocosins (USFWS 1995).

Ecological Relationships

Adapted to fire, this species is often found well within the shrub zone of its preferred habitats (USFWS 1995). Reproduces from cloning and sexual reproduction rates seem to be poor. Many populations may consist of one or very few individuals. An obligate outcrosser, it is pollinated by solitary bees, usually in the genus Dialictus (USFWS 1995).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Sweat bees Augochlorella striata Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Augochlorella gratiosa Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Laioglossum Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Augochlorella striata Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Augochlorella gratiosa Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Lasioglossum Floral Visitor Link
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting
North Carolina Botanical Garden North Carolina Reintroduction 2004
North Carolina Botanical Garden North Carolina Reintroduction 2004
North Carolina Botanical Garden and US Army Corps of Engineers CERL North Carolina Reintroduction 2012
North Carolina Botanical Garden and US Army Corps of Engineers CERL North Carolina Reintroduction 2012

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