Purple Loosestrife Workday at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

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Saturday, August 12, 2017, volunteers gathered at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, Michigan, to remove purple loosestrife from the property. The group was able to remove approximately two thirds of the purple loosestrife population at the institute by removing the cutting the flowers from the plants and bagging them. This method will help to reduce the population by limiting seed dispersal. The institute also plans to release specialized beetles that will eat away at the plants, next year.

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Purple Loosestrife

(Lythrum salicaria)
*Established in Michigan*
RESTRICTED IN MICHIGAN

Identification:

  • Perennial herb with a woody, square stem covered in downy hair
  • Height varies from 4 to 10 feet
  • Leaves are arranged in pairs or whorls
  • Magenta flower spikes with 5-7 petals per flower are present for most of the summer

Habitat: Purple loosestrife thrives along roadsides and in wetlands. While seeds can germinate in water, establishment is much more successful in moist substrate that’s not flooded. It prefers full sun, but can tolerate shade.

Native Range: Europe and Asia

U.S. Distribution: Purple loosestrife has been introduced to every state except Florida.

Local Concern: Given the right conditions, purple loosestrife can rapidly establish and replace native vegetation. This can lead to a reduction in plant diversity, which reduces habitat value to wildlife.

Other Common Names: Purple lythrum, rainbow weed, salicaria, spiked loosestrife

MORE INFORMATION:

Purple Loosestrife Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF

MDARD Weed Risk Assessment for Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) - This document evaluates the invasive potential of the plant species using information based on establishment, spread and potential to cause harm. 

 

This information was originally posted here