National wildlife services, state/provincial natural resource and environment agencies, universities, nursery trades associations, and conservation and community organizations have responded to the purple loosestrife invasion by raising awareness of the threat posed by this invasive plant, and how to prevent its spread. Obviously, extreme caution must be taken when introducing one organism to control another. Once established it can destroy marshes, wet prairies and clog up waterways. A mature plant can develop into a large clump of stems up to five feet in diameter. • Once the area gets too heavily infested, it might become extremely difficult to physically remove the plant. Once approved for release in Canada or the U.S., insects must pass through national quarantine facilities to ensure that they are the correct species and are free of disease and parasites. This enables controlled laboratory testing and natural field testing to be conducted in the insects’ native home, eliminating the high cost of meeting the requirements for working in North American quarantine to avoid the risk of a foreign species escaping. Is Purple Loosestrife growing in your garden? Identifying purple loosestrife in spring (click image to enlarge) Spring purple loosestrife stem tops and seed pods. Wetlands are the most biologically diverse, productive component of our ecosystem. As of 1996, insects have been released for the control of purple loosestrife in twenty-five U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces. Hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival. Swamp Loosestrife: Individual flowers ring the stem above leaf pairs. Means of reproduction? It can invade parched sites too. The flowering parts are used as medicine. General description: An erect, hairy perennial growing up to 2m high with stout stems. In the meantime, it is important that we work together to control the spread of purple loosestrife to new areas by using the guidelines outlined previously. Wetlands are also home to many rare and delicate plants. It has become a menace to the native plants in the wetlands of these areas where it chokes out the growth of all its competitors. B.) If facilities exist in your area, incineration is an effective way to dispose of plant material. It will help to avoid the free radical … Since it was introduced, purple loosestrife has spread westward and can be found across much of Canada and the United States. Dense growth along shoreland areas makes it difficult to access open water. at a site. The following five species of beetles were selected for purple loosestrife to be introduced without fear of negative impacts to native North American plants. The best time to control purple loosestrife is in late June, July and early August, when it is in flower, plants are easily recognized, and before it goes to seed. The plant, which can grow as tall as two meters, is made up of a few square shaped, woody stems and hundreds of flower spikes. WHY IS PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE A PROBLEM? It is important to control for protecting native wildlife. Depending on where you live, plants may go to seed as early as late July. It invades wetlands, often forming dense colonies that exclude native plants. In areas too heavily infested to pull, cut or dig plants, these control techniques can still be used to control plants that may sprout as a result of seeds escaping the area. Controlling the spread of purple loosestrife is crucial to protecting vital fish, wildlife and native plant habitat! Purple loosestrife is an erect perennial herb that usually grows two to six feet tall. Pretty it may be, but the bright purple color is deceiving. Overview Information Purple loosestrife is a plant. However, for large stands, such methods are impractical and costly. The purple loosestrife plant (Lythrum salicaria) is an extremely invasive perennial that has spread throughout the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States. THE ECOLOGICAL PROBLEM. C.) Seed: Each mature plant can produce up to 2.7 million seeds annually. Individuals, resource managers and community groups can make a valuable contribution to conserving our wetlands for future generations by acting on the information in this brochure. Purple loosestrife can be cut or pulled without a permit in Minnesota. Invasive species cause harm because they have no enemies to keep them in check in their new homes. It has very little food value for animals. Thick stands of purple loosestrife crowd out native plants and reduce food, shelter, and nesting sites for wildlife, birds, turtles, and frogs. The following plants are an example of some of the environmentally-friendly species available at garden centers and nurseries: The information on this Web page was originally produced in brochure form by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters with support and cooperation of: If you would like more information about purple loosestrife, the problems it causes, regulations to prevent its spread, or methods and permits for its control, contact: 31 West College Street    Duluth, MN 55812    (218) 726-8106. Remo… It is used to make medicine. Repeated cutting can prevent seed production and may eventually kill the plants. Purple loosestrife plants are also common to disturbed areas, such as roadside drainage and construction sites. Purple loosestrife is an attractive wetland perennial plant from Europe and Asia . Roots and underground stems are spread by water and waterfowl any threat to wetlands the! Use as brood stock, to reproduce and supply additional insects for release is... 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