One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a number of tall plants which bear upright spikes of flowers and grow by water and in wet ground.
- ‘Wildflowers here include water parsnip, fringed loosestrife, and hedge nettle.’
- ‘Purple loosestrife will grow vigorously and clog irrigation canals, ditches, stream banks and reservoirs, resulting in less water available for crop production and recreation.’
- ‘A semi-transparent boundary is formed by panels of rustic larch trellis, and ornamental hedging and a mass of cottage flowers, including a white mallow, lavender, loosestrife, hardy geraniums and a pale pink Rosa glauca ‘New Dawn’.’
- ‘Purple loosestrife can grow to 3-9 feet tall with several, square stalks per plant.’
- ‘Place the freshly cut stems in a bottle of water and place in contact with the defoliated loosestrife plants.’
Mid 16th century: from loose + strife, taking the Greek name lusimakheion (actually from Lusimakhos, the name of its discoverer) to be directly from luein ‘undo’ + makhē ‘battle’.
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