Purple Loosestrife

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Yet another…

Beaver Island Phragmites Control

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Some of these invasive plants can certainly be deceptive.

Unlike Phragmites, whose sharp, grassy stalks form an impenetrable wall, many herbaceous perennials are actually quite attractive. They seem quite soft and fluffy; often producing striking flowers.

Purple Loosestrife is another one.

First introduced to this country in the 1830’s Purple Loosestrife came here as a contaminant of ship’s ballast. It was also brought here as a medicinal herb, for treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, bleeding, wounds, ulcers and sores. It was welcomed in gardens for its beautiful flowers; beekeepers appreciated the nectar it provided for their hives (though it did not result in a flavorful honey).

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Let us not be deceived.

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Like all invasive species, this plant does not “play well with others.” It does not co-exist with our native plants. It wants to take over.

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Purple Loosestrife is an herbaceous,wetland perennial that can thrive in a wide range of habitats…

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About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

9 responses »

    • Isn’t it! When I went to the school to talk to the kids about invasive species, I compared them to Superman…if Superman had chosen to use his powers for evil, rather than for good. Thanks for reading,Lisa, and for your comments!

  1. My goodness that plant loves the island and that is a bummer. Sure hope that eventually it will all be gone from your island. I know there is lots of work involved to rid the island of this nasty plant. Such a shame.

    • Fortunately, Yvonne, this plant is still a fairly minor pest here on Beaver Island. I put some pretty scary pictures up there, to show folks what happens when it grows unchecked, but they were not taken here. The difficulty with our situation here is that when invasives have not yet destroyed our natural balance, it’s a struggle to convince folks that it is worth the time, energy and cost of keeping them in control. Thanks for reading, and for your comment!

  2. Oh I remember these! That summer house i mention ad nauseum (the one we owned in South Dartmouth when the kids were little) was located on a neck of land where the Atlantic meets the Slocum river. We had salt marshes along the back side of the house and let me tell you, that crazy plant OWNED those marshes.
    It made for some incredible views, but it certainly wasn’t good from an ecological standpoint!

    • It’s to my disadvantage that many of these plants are strikingly beautiful when they take over a region…and that we are not to that point here. It’s hard, sometimes to relay the danger of not keeping these things under control. Because of our out-lying location, many precious species still grow here that have been nearly wiped out everywhere else. Michigan Monkey Flower, for instance: the amount of that flower growing wild here on Beaver Island amounts to 20% of what is growing GLOBALLY! The invasive species could destroy their habitat too quickly. When I’m finished with my top ten invasives, I’m going to start featuring some of the delicate species – that thrive here – that are on protected and endangered lists. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

      • I just looked up the Michigan Monkey Flower…so pretty! It looks a lot like snapdragons, yeah? No way should this beautiful species get wiped out. I really applaud your efforts at keeping people informed…it’s so important.

  3. Pingback: Lythrurn salicaria | Find Me A Cure

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