Whorled yellow loosestrife: bright eyes.

brighteyes.JPGWhorled yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia) is sometimes called “crosswort” (for the shape the leaves make) or “liberty tea” (think Boston Tea Party). But I call it “bright eyes.” That’s because it makes your eyes bright. Really now.

If you have a few plants around (it likes open woods and scrubby thickets in East-Central US and Canada), try chewing on a bit of leaf or flower. See what happens.

You might find your eyes get wider. And you notice things you didn’t see before. Your vision might be sharper.

You also might find that it settles you down. You might feel a bit more “grounded.” You might notice that your center of gravity’s in your gut, where it should be.

I’m having fun playing with this little primrose-family weed. It’s astringent, but also relaxing. It’s calming, but also brightening. The flowers are sweet, the leaves a bit sharp. It grows where it likes—in sand or clay, in acid soils or alkaline, in sun or shade. It’s not terribly common, but not rare either. Its leaves and flowers are spread out evenly around its stalk, and I think that might be a clue to something.

Bright eyes is an herb for evenness. For settling. For paying attention.


  1. Jan S. said,

    August 27, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

    I shall keep my eyes open for it. Does it live in Vermont?

  2. crabappleherbs said,

    August 27, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

    Yes, indeed, it does.

    In fact, that picture was taken on the hillside out behind the Dummerston DMV.

  3. crabappleherbs said,

    August 30, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    Oh, ha ha. “Keep my eyes out.” Yes, sometimes it takes me a long time to get a joke.

  4. Jan S. said,

    September 7, 2007 @ 8:40 am

    Better late than never!

  5. Tara said,

    June 13, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

    I have just discovered this little beauty. I now see it all over my field before it’s in bloom! Thank yo ufor the information you have provided. I haven’t found much on it except that it can be used as a tea.

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  7. icon ventures said,

    December 8, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

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    The Herbwife?s Kitchen » Whorled yellow loosestrife: bright eyes.

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    December 9, 2015 @ 8:36 am


    The Herbwife?s Kitchen » Whorled yellow loosestrife: bright eyes.

  9. Kathy said,

    July 10, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

    This is so funny. When I first discovered this little gem on the edge of my creek in abundance I had no idea what it was or what secrets it held.So I picked some sat with it smelled it took a smal nibble.I got my herb identification book out and started comparing pictures. Here is the thing I was reading the book with out my reading glasses for just a moment everything was clear as could be. And when I finally matched it up to the whoreld loosestrife. It said that it made eyes brighter and clearer. OMG I laughed outloud and named her loosey my new friend.

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