This beautiful, upright perennial of ditches, river banks, canals and marshes is a much loved sight from June to September throughout Ireland. Its flowers are borne in dense whorls on upright spikes, each flower 10-15mm, bright reddish purple, with six crumpled, narrow petals and twelve stamens. However sometimes there can be fewer petals, different sized stamens and styles. The paired , opposite, lanceolate leaves are in whorls of three but those further up the stems are sometimes alternate. This is a native plant belonging to the family Lythraceae.
I first identified this plant in 1973 at Salerno, Co Galway and I photographed it in Tullycanna, Co Wexford in 2006.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre