Conserving Carolina sparks the search for Appalachian Loosestrife in Polk County

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

In a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County, Conserving Carolina and botanist David Campbell needs help in locating this month’s “Polk County’s Most Wanted—Plant,” Appalachian Loosestrife (Lysimachia tonsa).

Appalachian Loosestrife is a rhizomatous perennial herb with stems that range from 30-80 cm in length. Stems are typically covered in numerous, erect glandular hairs.

Appalachian Loosestrife

Leaves are simple, lanceolate or ovate, and alternate with a short petiole. Flowers are yellow, with five sepals that are often reddish at their base. In the local region, flowering occurs from late June to late July.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Found in mesic forests with sunny openings throughout scattered areas of the Southeastern United States, this is a rare species in North Carolina, known from only a handful of sites. In Polk County, people may seek out Appalachian Loosestrife by looking along forested slopes with sunny areas, woodland trails with open aspects and old logging roads.

The next three to four weeks will be an opportune time to search for this species.

People who think they have seen Appalachian Loosestrife in Polk County may send photos, questions, or comments to Pam Torlina at Conserving Carolina by phone at 828-697-5777, ext. 300, or email 

People may visit Conserving Carolina’s website,, for more information about “Polk County’s Most Wanted” and to download and print a “Pocket Guide” with all of the “Most Wanted” plants, animals and habitats.

-Submitted by

David Campbell