Purple loosestrife, like most problem plants, is from another continent — in this case, Europe and Asia. Purple Loosestrife are the tall bright purple flowering plants you see mixed in with cattails lining the edge of many lakes and wetlands. There is actually still a great deal of debate today as to whether the conservation ecology community should continue its war on invasives the way it has for the past several decades. Followi ng fertilization, seeds are produced. What's so bad about Purple Loosestrife? Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It prefers sun, but, like most invasive weeds, it adapts well in many soil types. Purple loosestrife produces clusters of bright pinkish-purple flowers on wands at the top of the plant. Why is the purple loosestrife so bad, and if so, why are we settling with a method of control that does not truly remove the plant from our landscapes? I’m not sure why. 6 /16. What’s so bad about purple loosestrife? Purple loosestrife is generally not self-compatible. The flowering parts are used as medicine. Purple loosestrife is found along waterways, marshes and wetlands. Purple Loosestrife is a widespread invasive plant.It’s taken over wetlands in every state in the US except Florida. But now, scientists consider Purple Loostrife an invasive species success story. Comments: The only other species that is similar to Purple Loosestrife is the native Lythrum alatum (Winged Loosestrife), which also occurs in wetlands. Flowers usually have 6 petals, are about 1” wide, and are pollinated by insects. Overview Information Purple loosestrife is a plant. The Problem with Purple Loosestrife The purple loosestrife is a flowering plant found in wetlands. Once it's present, it has a tendency to dominate, outcompeting native vegetation. Purple Loosestrife. “Purple loosestrife displaces all the native plants in wetlands, which causes a real loss in diversity,” said Ellen Jacquert of Ellettsville, director of stewardship for the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy and an expert on both exotic invasive and native plants. It shouldn’t be confused with other plants whose common names are also loosestrife such as Fringed Loosestrife and Gooseneck Loosestrife, both members of the primrose family. Unfortunately, this plant is not liked by birds, mammals, or waterfowl. If the loosestrife starts to spread, the number of beetles rebounds. WHY IT’S BAD: Purple Loosestrife was originally introduced to North America from Europe and Asia in the early 1800s and was commonly used as a medicinal herb to treat digestive issues and bacterial infections. You can’t buy these beetles. The healing plant was intentionally planted as a “pioneer species” throughout New England but quickly spread through man-made canals, becoming one […] Purple loosestrife is a beautiful but aggressive hardy perennial, which can damage wetlands and the animals that live there, if allowed to spread unchecked. Each flower spike has many individual flowers that are pink-purple with small, yellow centers. The bad news? This latter species is a smaller and less aggressive plant with winged stems, while the stems of Purple Loosestrife are usually round (sometimes 4-angled). Background. It grows into dense plantings, reduces then eliminating wildlife. 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. The nicknames for purple loosestrife - beautiful killer, marsh monster and exotic invader - are telling. 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