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Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria. Purple Loosestrife What is it?. Purple loosestrife ( Lythrum salicaria ) is an Non-Indigenous plant species and an Aquatic Nuisance Species What are Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) ?

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Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria

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Purple loosestrife lythrum salicaria l.jpg

Purple LoosestrifeLythrum salicaria


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Purple LoosestrifeWhat is it?

  • Purple loosestrife(Lythrum salicaria) is an Non-Indigenous plant species and an Aquatic Nuisance Species

    • What are Non-Indigenous Species (NIS)?

      • Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) - organisms that have moved beyond their natural geographic range of habitat

        • NIS can be microorganisms, plants or animals

        • NIS can be terrestrial or aquatic

    • What are Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)?

      • Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)- are NIS that threaten the native species, ecological stability, commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, or recreational activities that depend on the infested waters.

        • ANS can occur in inland, estuarine and marine waters


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Purple LoosestrifeHow did it get to the U.S.?

Arrived in eastern North America in the early 1800’s

  • Intentional

    • Plants brought by settlers for their flower gardens and herbal uses

  • Unintentional

    • Seeds may have been transported in livestock feed or bedding

    • Seeds were present in soil in the ballast holds of European ships

      • Ballast –used by ships to weigh down vessels for stability on the ocean

        • Early European ships used soil, which may have contained the seeds

        • Modern ships use water

http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/forum/colwell/rc02abelwolman/sld026.htm


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Purple LoosestrifeWhat does it look like?

  • Flowers:

    • Purple to magenta in color

    • 5-6 petals

    • Bloom in long spikes

  • Leaves:

    • Green, lance-shaped

    • Opposite along the stem

  • Stem:

    • Dense, woody

    • Square, 4-sided

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/1999/loosstrf/field.htm


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Purple LoosestrifeWhere does it live?

  • Moist soil to shallow water

    • Wet meadows and pastures

    • Marshes and wetlands

    • Stream and river banks

    • Lake shores

    • Roadside ditches

  • Can tolerate drier conditions

    • Lawns and gardens

    • Agricultural and pasture land

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/invasive/info/loose2.htm


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Purple LoosestrifeHow does it spread?

  • Naturally

    • One mature plant can produce approximately 2.5 million seeds per year, high germination rate (almost 100%)

    • Small, lightweight seeds can be dispersed by wind, animals, storm water runoff

    • Seeds remain viable for many years underwater or in soil

    • Can regenerate from roots or cuttings of other plants

  • Humans

    • Carried on clothing or vehicles

    • Planted in ornamental gardens and by bee keepers

    • Roadside mowing

http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/images/pests/ weeds/purpleloose7.jpg


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Purple LoosestrifeWhat does it do?

  • Invades wetlands

    • Out-competes and replaces native plants

    • Eliminates natural food and cover for wildlife

    • Can change the structure and function of a wetland

  • Affects humans

    • Can clog irrigation systems

  • Possible uses

    • Provides a nectar and pollen source for bees

www.uq.edu.au/nanoworld/ images/honeybee-1.jpg


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Purple LoosestrifeHow can we control it?

  • Manual (digging, pulling, cutting)

    • Not effective for large infestations

    • Difficult and time consuming. Must follow up annually when new plants appear.

    • Remove as much of root system as possible and dispose of plants properly

Cutting Stalks

Credit: MJ Kewley

Org: Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC)

  • Chemical

    • Not effective for large infestations

    • Expensive and time consuming. Must follow up with repeated applications.

    • Best for dry, upland areas on private property

    • Use an APPROVED herbicide, apply herbicides carefully. They can affect all plants, not just the targets!

For more information on controlling purple loosestrife (and other NIS) in Ohio, visit the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves Invasive Species web site:

http://www.ohiodnr.com/dnap/non_native/InvasiveSpecies.html


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Purple LoosestrifeHow can we control it?

  • Biological Control

    • Best for severe purple loosestrife infestation (>3 acres)

    • Works by using a plant’s natural enemies against it

      • After 5 years of USDA testing to be sure the species would not negatively impact wetlands and agricultural crops, three species [imported from Germany!] were approved for use in control of purple loosestrife:

        • Hylobius transversovitta tus, a root mining weevil

        • Galerucella calmariensisand Galerucella pusilla , two leaf eating beetles

        • Nanophyes marmoratus , a flower feeding weevil

    • Biological control has proven successful in many areas, BUT… caution must be used to keep the beetles themselves in check!

http://www.ducks.ca/purple/faq/index.html - No.4


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Purple LoosestrifeWhat can we do to help?

  • Report locations where purple loosestrife is found

    • Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Natural Areas and Preserves http://www.ohiodnr.com/dnap/

    • Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy www.tnc.org

  • Request your local garden center or nursery to stop selling purple loosestrife if you find it there

  • Replace purple loosestrife with native plants in ornamental gardens

    • Native plants such as Cardinal flower, Blue vervain, Blueflag and Monkey flower all thrive in the same habitat


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