Purple Loosestrife -
There are different species of Loosestrife yet describing one is as if to describe many.
"Loosestrife" is found in two plant families, Primulaceae and Lythraceae.
Lythraceae is native to sub-tropical regions, and also grows across Great Britain, Europe to central Russia, South America and Africa, Northern India, China and Japan.
It has become a problem throughout all the United States and is now making it's way north to Canada along with other areas around the world, including New Zealand.
Gardeners grow this as a garden perennial unaware that it needs to be highly controlled. In time weed grows out of control and many states now have outlawed it
for sale and/or use of it as a garden flower.
This weed thrives in moist environments but adapt to a wide range of soils, especially wet and swampy areas along with the sun. It spreads by seed and one mature plant can produce anywhere between 2 - 2.5 million seeds annually. Seeds remain dormant in many different soil temperatures for years.
This weed will crowd out less
aggressive native plants that are critical for local eco-systems, eventually
reducing biological diversity and destroying wildlife habitats of all kinds,
including pollinators such as butterflies.
Upright stems are stiff, slightly hairy and grow anywhere from 2-4 feet tall. They are usually four-sided but sometimes they appear six-sided. Leaves are lanced shaped, grow opposite of each other on stem and are larger at the base, narrowing at top as weed grows.
Each individual flower has 6 petals
and in most areas of the country blooms mid-summer through fall.
Young tender plants can easily be pulled, along with it's root if pulling from moist soil. It will likely break off if soil is dry.
If plants are mature, dig out the plant and roots. Make sure this is done before any flowers bloom. If weed blooms, cut flower spikes off - avoid shaking them. Carefully place them in garbage.
Other manual options include burning weeds, but do so carefully. Mowing depletes energy where root will eventually die if weed seeds get into the lawn.
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