Like so many of the wild flowers we now see around us, the purple loosestrife is alien to America. It has arrived, however, and is making itself quite at home in much of our marshlands much to the concern of some people. No matter that it does or does not give an unfair competitive edge in the fight for survival to its fellows plants, the purple loosestrife gives, when it masses together, as it does, a very attractive presentation. Its six petaled flowers, magenta in colour, stream upwards along slender and tapered spikes. The downy leaves clasp the stem in pairs opposite each other (sometimes in threes).