An oddly romantic name for a wildflower, Swamp Candles are also called Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia terrestris,) and they are native to North America. I had never seen this flower until I found it while mowing with the tractor. A wet area near our orchard was covered with the Candles in full bloom. Before mowing them all, I did a bit of research.
Yellow Loosestrife, from the Primrose family, is actually endangered in Kentucky and Tennessee. The plant grows in moist spots such as the edges of ponds and streams, or in marshes. It is a perennial reaching about 24″-32″ height. The flowers are striking, growing on a tall raceme. The five yellow petals have red dots at the base with each flower forming a star.
I was able to preserve a good-sized area of the Candles. Since they have not bloomed here before, I’m not certain where they came from or if they will appear again next year. The place where they grow changes it’s flora over the years. Sometimes it will be all fern, other years, blue flag iris pops up, or swamp grasses. In very dry years, field grass predominates. This year was wet, perhaps giving the loosestrife seeds the upper hand.
Several flower stalks were pushed down by the tractor, and I salvaged them to make a bouquet. The blooms lasted four or five days. They would be excellent fillers or good for adding height in a large arrangement.