|Scientific name:||Lythrum salicaria L.|
|Common name||Purple Loosestrife, Purple lythrum, Rainbow weed, Spiked loosestrife|
|Hebrew name:||שנית גדולה|
|Family:||Lythraceae, Loosestrife family, כפריים|
|Stems:||80-220 cm high, erect, 4-angled, pubescent;becoming woody with age|
|Leaves:||Stalkless leaves, opposite, entire, lanceolate to narrowly oblong, sometimes covered with fine hairs; the variability in pubescence and leaf shape is influenced by light levels - leaf area increases and fine hairs decrease with lower light levels|
|Inflorescence:||Flower spikes, 1- to multi-flowered whorled axillary cymes, 15-35 cm|
|Flowers:||Pink, complete flower, 5-7 petals, same number of sepals as petals, and twice as many stamens as petals; usually 6 sepals, 6 petals, 12 stamens; ovary superior, with two fused carpels|
|Fruits / pods:||Capsule, two-valved|
|Flowering Period:||June, July, August, September, October, November|
|Distribution:||The Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Deserts and extreme deserts|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Lythrum, Greek lythron, "blood," from the color of the flowers.
salicaria, salix, a willow-tree, arius, connected to or possessed by; willow like.
The Hebrew name: שנית, shanit, formed from שני (= scarlet, crimson), with suffix-ית, it; so called in allusion to the color of its flowers.