Field studies were conducted to characterize the predominant nonstructural carbohydrates in roots and crowns of purple loosestrife and to determine the seasonal fluctuation of root and crown carbohydrates in three Minnesota wetland habitats. Starch was the primary nonstructural carbohydrate present, and concentrations were consistently higher in roots than in crowns. Starch content decreased following shoot emergence and declined until flower bud formation, at which time levels reached seasonal lows. Following bud initiation, levels of starch increased during flowering, and this trend continued through to plant senescence in late September or October. Sucrose was the predominant soluble sugar in roots and crowns of purple loosestrife, but fructose and glucose were detected. Levels of sucrose in roots and crowns followed the same seasonal trends as starch.