Purple Loosestrife

(Lythrum salicaria)

Purple loosestrife is a pretty flowering plant that is highly invasive. It was brought to the US from Europe and Asia in the 1800s and has spread rapidly. It is crowding out native wetland plants like cattails.

It flowers continuously from from June to September. One plant can produce 3 million seeds in one year alone. If you try to get rid of it by pulling it up, it can grow new plants from the roots left in the water.

Purple loosestrife has three different kinds of flowers, called morphs. The morphs differ by the length of their stamens. All the flowers on one plant are of the same morph. Flowers of one morph can only be pollinated by one of the other two morphs. This means the plants have to cross-pollinate with other plants. Pollination is done by bees and butterflies.

If you look closely in spring and early summer, you can see Indian pipe growing about 20 feet up the trail on your right.

Seeds in October

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