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Major negative impact on wetlands in North America; reduces
waterfowl food and nesting.
Purple loosestrife invades marshes and lakeshores, replacing
cattails and other wetland plants. Purple loosestrife adapts
readily to natural and disturbed wetlands. As it establishes and
expands, it outcompetes and replaces native grasses, sedges, and
other flowering plants that provide a higher quality source of
nutrition for wildlife.
The highly invasive nature of purple loosestrife allows it to
form dense, homogeneous impenetrable stands that restrict
native wetland plant species, and are unsuitable as cover, food or
nesting sites for a wide range of native
wetland animals including ducks, geese, rails, bitterns,
muskrats, frogs, toads and turtles. Many rare and
endangered plants are also at risk including some
federally endangered orchids.
Purple loosestrife is an erect perennial herb in the loosestrife
family, with a square, woody stem and opposite or whorled leaves.
Leaves are lance-shaped, stalkless, and heart-shaped or rounded at
the base. Plants are usually covered by a downy pubescence.
Loosestrife plants grow from four to ten feet high, depending upon
conditions, and produce a showy display of magenta-colored flower
spikes throughout much of the summer. Flowers have five to seven
petals. Mature plants can have from 30 to 50 stems arising from a
Individual flowers on the flower spikes have five or six
pink-purple petals surrounding small, yellow centers. Leaves are
downy, with smooth edges. Stalks are square, five or six-sided,
woody, as tall as 2 meters (over 6 feet).
A. The entire
population should be treated as purple loosestrife is invasive.
treatments are generally required.
A. It really
depends on the product you choose. For most vegetation, control
will take approximately 2 weeks however, tissue damage may be
evident within 2 to 4 days with liquid formulations. Some
products are slower acting with results taking 30 days or more to
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