To date, this invasive plant is found in every Canadian province and every American state except Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. Purple loosestrife is native to Europe and Asia. It can tolerate up to 50% shade and acidic, calcareous soils. Habitat Purple loosestrife grows in a variety of wet habitats, including wet meadows, marshes, river banks, and the edges of ponds and reservoirs. It is illegal to possess, plant, transport, or … Seeds can remain dormant in the ground for several years before germinating in late spring or early summer. Other points of interest: Purple loosestrife has a long history of use in herbal medicine. It needs moist conditions to reproduce but a mature plant can survive on dry soils for years. 2. Purple loosestrife flowers in July and August in most of Connecticut. Habitat. The stands reduce nutrients and space for native plants and degrade habitat for wildlife. I'd call it "vigorous" in the UK, although outside Europe it can be an invasive menace. Annual Cycle: Purple loosestrife is a perennial that reproduces by seeds and rhizomes (root- like underground stems). Dense root systems change the hydrology of wetlands. Impacts: Purple loosestrife quickly establishes and spreads, outcompeting and replacing native grasses and other flowering plants that provide high quality food and habitat for wildlife. The plant bears magenta flower spikes that consist of many individual small flowers, each with 5-6 petals and small yellow centre. Native vegetation provides food, shelter and habitat for wildlife whereas an introduced species, like purple loosestrife, usually has limited value to waterfowl, insects and other animals in Manitoba. Purple loosestrife is noted as arriving in BC in 1915. Steve Dewey Utah State University Bugwood.org Habitat: Purple loosestrife thrives along roadsides and in wetlands. Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, is native to Europe. Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant native to Europe and Asia that was brought to North America in the early 19th century. The magenta flower spikes of the Purple Loosestrife. It prefers moist, highly organic soils in open areas, but can tolerate a wide range of substrate material, flooding depths, and partial shade. Description: Purple loosestrife is a non-native herbaceous perennial with a stiff, four-sided stem and snowy spikes of numerous magenta flowers. The stems of Purple Loosestrife are square in cross-section. The species include a root-mining weevil, Hylobius transversovitta, and two leaf-eating beetles, Galerucella calmariensis and Galerucella pusilla. This highly invasive plant was likely introduced when its seeds were included in soil used as ballast in European sailing ships and discarded in North America. Ralph W. Tiner, Jr. We respect your privacy and will never send you spam, or sell or distribute your information to third parties. Some varieties of purple loosestrife are cultivated in ornamental purposes and used in folk medicine. It is very common along the lower Saint John River and is still spreading. It was introduced to North America on several occasions: intentionally as a garden herb and accidentally in ship ballast. Purple loosestrife blooms from June until September. 4. Purple loosestrife quickly establishes and spreads, outcompeting and replacing native grasses and other flowering plants that provide high-quality food and habitat sources for wildlife. Leaves are lance-shaped, entire, are usually opposite and arranged in pairs. Wetlands – Audubon Society Nature Guide. Purple loosestrife is listed as a noxious weed in 12 other states, where its importation and distribution is prohibited. The plant is still used in flower gardens and occasionally sold in nurseries today. It was introduced to the east coast in the early 1800s, possibly as seeds in ship’s ballast or as an ornamental. Dense growth along shoreland areas makes it difficult to access open water. A Field Guide to Coastal Wetland Plants of the Northeastern United States. Cultivars of these species are supposedly self-infertile, but can become quite fertile and widespread when crossed with wild purple loosestrife and should not be used for home gardens. Purple loosestrife grows well in full sun; in shaded conditions it may be smaller in stature or have fewer blossoms. Fruits: small capsule. Due to a strongly-developed tap root, removal by digging is not recommended since the disturbance may encourage proliferation. Their impact should be noticeable by 1997. Preferred Habitat: Purple loosestrife can be found in variety of wetland habitats including freshwater tidal and non-tidal marshes, river banks, ditches, wet meadows, and edges of ponds and reservoirs. Seed capsules form in mid to late summer, and each capsule contains many small seeds. Interesting Purple loosestrife Facts: Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant that was introduced to the east coast of North America during the 19th century. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst 1987. Habitat where fish and wildlife feed, seek shelter, reproduce and rear young, quickly becomes choked under a sea of purple flowers.
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