We continue our look at some of the worst of the worst when it comes to invasive plants, as purple loosestrife is certainly one of those.
You could be fooled by its prettiness as it takes over vast stretched of swampy terrain and draws a gorgeous purple/red picture. But its success spells doom to may other plant species, which simply cannot compete with this very pretty poison.
How are you going to fight this?
According to “Invasive Plants,” “Loosestrife’s prolific seeding, its tolerance of a wide variety of water regimes and soils, its ability to produce as many as two million seedlings a season, and its reproduction from broken pieces have allowed it to spread across the continent and outcompete many natives.”
It’s also expanded to the retention basin outside my Swoyersville home, the site of the loosestrife photograph.
If you go into any damp areas around here — such as some of the sunny banks of the Susquehanna — you’ll be blinded by its purple blanketing of the landscape.
Scientists believe that purple loosestrife conquers up to 100,000 acres of loosestrife-free wetlands in the United States every year.
An arrival from Europe in the ballast of European sailing ships, it arrived in colonial North America with the first settlers. Horticulturists later imported seeds for gardens. By the early 1800s it was so common some botanists considered it native.
Control it? Not likely: To date, no effective means exist to eliminate large, established stands of purple loosestrife.