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The Lythrum salicaria, or salcerella, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. It produces thick tufts, 100-150 cm high, consisting of thin erect stems, semi-woody at the base, with a square section, green-brown in color; the leaves of this plant are opposite, sometimes slightly rolled, lanceolate and without petiole; the whole plant is covered with a thin reddish hair.
Throughout the summer season, on the top of the stems, a long spike can be seen, made up of numerous intense pink flowers, with 5-7 petals; in the fall the purple loosestrife produces numerous semi-woody capsules containing seeds. Very widespread in Europe as an ornamental plant, it is also used in herbal medicine; in some areas of the world it is considered a weed and its sale is prohibited.
The specimens of Lythrum salicaria generally develop better in sunny places, even if they do not disdain the partial shade; they do not particularly fear the cold, but, in areas where the winter temperature turns out to be rather rigid, it is possible to cultivate the specimens of purple loosestrife in a container, so that they can be placed in a sufficiently sheltered place during the coldest periods.
Being an aquatic plant, Lythrum salicaria needs a constantly moist soil and, if cultivated in a container, it is advisable to regularly check that it maintains the correct level of humidity, without however there being a formation of water stagnation. The water in the containers must be replaced every fortnight.
the large fleshy roots of this specific variety have been shown to be able to develop in any soil, provided it is moist; the Lythrum they grow near minor rivers or streams, in areas subject to periodic flooding, on the banks of ponds.
They settle on the banks of ponds or small ponds in the water gardens, remembering that the plant develops outside the water, with the roots well anchored in the ground. The rhizomes develop for 20-25 cm every year, so it is good to remember to contain the development of the plant if you have a water garden of modest size, to avoid that these plants suffocate the other essences planted.
In the spring period it is good to bury close to the plants of the specific fertilizer to provide the specimens with all the necessary nutrients or, if the plant is cultivated in pots, it is possible to mix the fertilizer product with water that will be constantly supplied for the correct development of the salcerelles .
The multiplication to obtain new specimens of this variety occurs by division of the rhizomes and the portions practiced can be placed directly at home. The plant also develops by seed, and tends to self-seed; on the market there are sterile varieties, to prevent the plant from spreading excessively, given that this kind of plant can also take on an infesting character.
Salcerella - Lythrum salicaria: Pests and diseases
The specimens belonging to this variety are rather rustic and resistant and are hardly affected by pests or diseases. if it is placed in a space near weaker plants and more subject to these problems, it is good, before the vegetative restart, to intervene with a specific broad-spectrum product.