Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Fraser's Loosestrife - Lysimachia fraseri   Duby
Members of Primulaceae:
Members of Lysimachia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Primulales » Family Primulaceae
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DistributionPresent only in the southern half of the Mountains, from Buncombe County southwest to Swain and Macon counties; possibly absent in the extreme southwestern counties.

This species has a small range in the mid-South. It occurs from western NC and adjacent SC, west to extreme southern IL, western KY, western TN, and AL.
AbundanceCan be fairly common in a rather small area in the Gorges area of the southwestern part of Transylvania County to southeastern Macon County. However, generally rare outside this region. This is a State Endangered species; as the NCNHP has over 50 records for the species, it has given a State Rank of S3. The better rank might be S2S3, as most populations are from a very small area of the state, but the website editors are not suggesting a more conservative rank at this time.
HabitatThis species has quite an array of habitats for a rare species. It normally occurs in partial shade/sun, along moist wooded borders, clearings, along roadbanks, thin soil around rock outcrops, and in openings of hardwood forests. RAB (1968) states "Alluvial meadows", which is mostly not correct, though plants can be found in such low meadows and edges.
PhenologyBlooms from June to August, and fruits from September to October. Weakley (2018) indicates that the species flowers poorly or not at all in shade, but "When a tree-fall light gap occurs, individuals flower and fruit."
IdentificationThis is the tallest and most robust of the state's Lysimachia species, often reaching 4-5 feet tall, with a stout stem, usually unbranched. It has several whorls of leaves along the stem, each whorl consisting of 3-5 leaves with entire margins. These leaves are lanceolate to nearly elliptic, about 4-5 inches long and up to 2 inches wide, with a cuneate to rounded base, a tapered tip, and a short petiole. The inflorescence is normally a terminal panicle, quite large for the genus, often 6 inches tall and 4-5 inches wide, with often 15 or more flowers in bloom at a time. Each flower has the typical Lysimachia structure, of 5 yellow and ovate petals (though a nipple tip is usually lacking), and about 3/4-inch across. This species should be readily identifiable in bloom owing to the quite large panicle, as others in the genus have racemes or axillary flowers. In leaf, it may be a bit more troubling to identify, but a tall herb with entire but whorled leaves eliminates most species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Weakley (2020) has split out Steironema from Lysimachia based on a 2018 paper using molecular research; and in so doing has gone back to "old" taxonomy. In Lysimachia there are no staminodes and the leaves are punctate with elongate markings (vs. staminodes present and punctae absent in Steironema).
Other Common Name(s)Fraser's Yellow Loosestrife
State RankS3
Global RankG3
State StatusE
US Status
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