Purple Loosestrife

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Photo by Steven FlintAdditional Images     

Common Name: Purple loosestrife
Scientific NameLythrum salicaria
Origin: Europe, Asia

Description

Purple loosestrife is an erect, herbaceous perennial that grows 3-7 feet. It is easily identified by its showy, magenta flowers from July to September. Linear shaped leaves grow oppositely along square stems. This aggressive plant spreads both vegetatively and by abundant seed dispersal.

Habitat

Purple loosestrife grows in a variety of wet habitats, including wet meadows, marshes, river banks, and the edges of ponds and reservoirs. It tolerates a wide variety of moisture, nutrient, and pH conditions.

Threat

Loosestrife invades both natural and disturbed wetlands and alters their ecological structure and function.

Management

Manual pulling of individual plants or small infestations can be effective. Selective herbicide treatments can be selective for larger infestations, but there are also biological control options available that are effective in suppressing large infestations.

DistributionView Map