Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Gooseneck Loosestrife Question ?

 
I  first spotted this mass of white spikes  one day in  June
at an open house at the nearby  Hocking House where
they open their garden once a year to visitors. The beds
are full of the clay garden art that they create and then showcase by setting it the midst of the many flowerbeds.

HH_Unknown2_2010_thumb[5]
 
The loosestrife Lysimachia clethroides looked beautiful with its white curving spikes brightening up the shaded area of their garden.
Any plant that can grow in shade fascinates me so I had
to look the flower up to see what it was since it was an unfamiliar plant to me.

HH_GooseneckLoosestrife2010

This vigorous grower has attractive, smooth, narrowly oval pointed leaves are mid-green above, pale green beneath. Tiny saucer-shaped white blossoms are produced in dense, tapered terminal spikes, 4 to 8 inches long, that curve gracefully over and down. The leaves turn to rich gold in autumn.
I think the words vigorous grower is a dead giveaway.
When a plant is listed as a vigorous grower that usually means it may well become invasive.

HH_Finials_2010_thumb[4]  That may well explain why a flower that I had not even noticed two years before was now two years later spreading all over this bed. To be fair it also may not have been in bloom at the time of the previous visit.
It is a beautiful looking flower though.

HH_Dragonfly_2010_thumb[8]

It grows in rich, moist but well-drained soil that does not
dry out in summer. Grows in zones 4 to 9.
So my question is do any of you gardeners grow it and if
so what is your opinion of the plant?
Does it get invasive in your garden?
If so how do you keep it in check?

Hocking_House_2008_purpleseats

Thank you,
Lona

28 comments:

Kathleen said...

I'm going to have to drop back by to read the responses Lona because I'm interested in hearing too. I like the look of these flowers a LOT and even planted them once (but moved right after, so I don't know what happened). Have always hesitated ever since. The graceful, arching blooms remind me of swans? That table and chairs in the last photo is so pretty!

gardeningasylum said...

My opinion is: RUN! It is so beautiful, but once established it is almost impossible to remove all the spreading fleshy roots - I only got rid of it when I moved :) Maybe planted in a container sunk in the ground it might be somewhat controlled - maybe...

Carol said...

Oh, Lona . . . this is a vigorous plant! Some may call it a thug! It is lovely and butterflies love it. I just pull out the ones I do not want to have in any border. Yours look so happy. Great photos! Perhaps not the best plant for a small garden. ;>)

Jean said...

I just planted some last fall so I can't help you. I had been looking for awhile but it's not sold in the nurseries around here. I do have yellow and I just dig it out when there is too much. I love my garden to look full and it does the trick! Jean

fer said...

this flower looks amazing! I had only seen it before but never had it. hope you find a way to keep it on check

Janet said...

I never planted it as its claim to be invasive keeps me at bay. I don't need the extra hassle.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Hi Lona: I do have Gooseneck Loosestife in the Sandbox. I have heard that it is aggressive but so far it has not been. It is in sandy soil so not moist for the most part and in part sun too. I saw it in another bloggers post where they used it as cut flowers and it looked amazing. I love the shape of the blossum. V

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I too fell in love with this plant last June when I saw it during a visit of the gardens at Kansas State University. They had it "contained" between a building and the sidewalk. I've been warned this plant SPREADS. I read somewhere online about a lady who grows it in a container and buries the container into the ground for winter. That is what I'm going to try. I've placed an order for this plant. Hope the container works for it because I really want those flower heads. Keep us posted on what you do and I'll post on mine. Happy gardening!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona,

I have a loosestrife that is sterile called Morden's Pink. It has never spread in seven years. Some loosestrifes like the purple are banned because of their invasiveness but I have never seen the white.

Eileen

Amy said...

Pretty post, Lona. The blooms remind me a lot of my white butterfly bush.

Chris said...

Good illustration of the wisdom of research and against impulse plant purchases (which are still sometimes hard to resist I'm sad to say). Although Gooseneck Loosestrife is pretty, I've kept away from it because of it's aggresive reputation.

Floridagirl said...

I always thought loosestrife was so pretty, and I planted some the last year before I moved from my z7 garden. Oh, my, I wonder what it looks like today! (In my defense, I bought it from a garden center.) I've never seen it growing anywhere here in my part of Florida.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I have seen this plant literally eat other plants alive. Well, that is a bit overly dramatic, but seriously it overtakes a garden in no time. Keeping it in check is a big problem. I would hesitate to ever put this plant in a garden. But it is beautiful and makes a statement.

Balisha said...

I fell in love with this plant after seeing it on a garden walk. I planted it the next year and it spread everywhere...especially under the fence. One day I saw my neighbor hacking at it on his side of the fence. He had a very neat yard and no room for invaders. I did get rid of it and wouldn't plant it again.Balisha

Stephanie said...

Interesting plant! I love its attractive white blooms. I hope you will be able to find some for your garden. Visually, whites and greens are very pleasing and calming ;-)

Kylee said...

Lona, I JUST got some of this last fall, courtesy of a friend of my mother's. It's in the holding garden right now, awaiting spring, when I will decide where I want its permanent home to be. Yes, it is known to be a vigorous/aggressive grower, but it's just so lovely!

The table and chair set in your post is ADORABLE!! Love it!

Karen said...

Lona, I have had no experience with this loosestrife, but have seen it run rampant in other people's gardens. I love the flower, it is so graceful and pretty, but I have way too much trouble with other 'runaway' plants to install another one....do you know that as a complete rookie, I actually planted creeping charlie? Oh, I RUE the day, and I don't think I'll ever be rid of the weed. Oh, well, at least something will be green here no matter what the weather...

scottweberpdx said...

I've always been tempted to grow it, but am a little wary. I noticed a neighbor down the street has a little patch in their parking strip. It grows well, but I think is contained by the physical barriers of the strip as well as the (probably) hostile environment. It is certainly lovely!

sweetbay said...

I have not grown Gooseneck Loosestrife, but I know its rambunctious nature is legend. I love the gardener's pottery work!

Anne Fannie said...

What a pretty plant! I love its blooms!
Ann

Darla said...

Could you grow it in a container? It is very pretty, I might have the right place for some to take over.

Re: I just picked you up a pack of Texas Bluebonnets this morning. I didn't answer your question about them because I wanted to find some for you. Dropping them in the mail today!

VW said...

Although I've admired this plant in pictures, and read the warnings about its vigor, I don't have any soil that doesn't dry out in summer. I don't need another thug to keep track of, though, my three kids keep me plenty busy already :-)

Tootsie said...

I have no opinion or experience with this...but I can say I LOVE THAT TABLE AND CHAIR SET!!!!!! I WANT ONE!

RainGardener said...

I forgot to mention how much I love your table and chairs. They are absolutely gorgeous. Ohhhhh and it's in my colors too. I'm lusting - even brought Bob in here to see them. He liked them too.

Kalipso said...

I fell in love with the table and the chairs on the last picture!
Check it out my Lysimachias http://kalipso-busybee.blogspot.com/search/label/lysimachia

Kate @ Gardening and Gardens said...

I actually like the Lysimachia but it is invasive. I've found the best way to keep it in check is to keep it contained, like next to a house with a walkway or some other pavers along the other side. It's great for those "what will grow here" spots though ;)

Aimee said...

Like a previous commenter, gooseneck loosestrife was my "rookie" gardening mistake. Yes, the blooms are pretty and long-lasting, but this stuff is very, very invasive—and hardy. The only time i've ever seen it falter was last summer, when we were in an extended drought here in the northeast (and by "falter" I mean the blooms faded more quickly—the plants themselves kept right on going). In the span of about five seasons, it spread from the original gallon-size container to easily a 10 x 10 patch (and I planted it in two spots originally, yay!). It crowds out everything around it, and spreads via a very dense root system that completely clogs the soil. Eradicating it means hours of digging, sifting the root masses out of the soil, and perpetually pulling pesky stray shoots. My recommendation is do not ever put this in a garden with other plants, and use it elsewhere as groundcover only if you absolutely do not care how far it spreads.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I didn't have time to read all the comments, Lona, but last summer, I decided I wanted to try growing some in one of my washtubs. I am pleased that the one plant I put in has spread, yet the dianthus I planted with it survived the winter with it. I may need to move the dianthus to a new pot, but probably should not put it in the ground, just in case some loosestrife roots come with it. I am tickled that it has flower buds on it. If next winter is colder, I hope the plants will still be OK. At least I don't have to worry about them trying to take over.