Each flower spike has many individual flowers that are pink-purple with small, yellow centers. But now, scientists consider Purple Loostrife an invasive species success story. Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, this plant is not liked by birds, mammals, or waterfowl. Purple loosestrife is a beautiful but aggressive hardy perennial, which can damage wetlands and the animals that live there, if allowed to spread unchecked. “Purple loosestrife displaces all the native plants in wetlands, which causes a real loss in diversity,” said Ellen Jacquert of Ellettsville, director of stewardship for the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy and an expert on both exotic invasive and native plants. It grows into dense plantings, reduces then eliminating wildlife. The nicknames for purple loosestrife - beautiful killer, marsh monster and exotic invader - are telling. WHY IT’S BAD: Purple Loosestrife was originally introduced to North America from Europe and Asia in the early 1800s and was commonly used as a medicinal herb to treat digestive issues and bacterial infections. 6 /16. Purple loosestrife produces clusters of bright pinkish-purple flowers on wands at the top of the plant. This highly invasive plant was likely introduced when its seeds were included in soil used as ballast in European sailing ships and discarded in North America. An invasive, weedy species, loosestrife readily establishes in a variety of urban and rural wetland habitats. Purple loosestrife is generally not self-compatible. Once it's present, it has a tendency to dominate, outcompeting native vegetation. Flowers usually have 6 petals, are about 1” wide, and are pollinated by insects. Purple Loosestrife. What’s so bad about purple loosestrife? Purple loosestrife, like most problem plants, is from another continent — in this case, Europe and Asia. Comments: The only other species that is similar to Purple Loosestrife is the native Lythrum alatum (Winged Loosestrife), which also occurs in wetlands. Overview Information Purple loosestrife is a plant. The Problem with Purple Loosestrife The purple loosestrife is a flowering plant found in wetlands. What's so bad about Purple Loosestrife? Purple Loosestrife is a widespread invasive plant.It’s taken over wetlands in every state in the US except Florida. There is actually still a great deal of debate today as to whether the conservation ecology community should continue its war on invasives the way it has for the past several decades. Background. If the loosestrife starts to spread, the number of beetles rebounds. Why is the purple loosestrife so bad, and if so, why are we settling with a method of control that does not truly remove the plant from our landscapes? It shouldn’t be confused with other plants whose common names are also loosestrife such as Fringed Loosestrife and Gooseneck Loosestrife, both members of the primrose family. This latter species is a smaller and less aggressive plant with winged stems, while the stems of Purple Loosestrife are usually round (sometimes 4-angled). The plant, which can grow as tall as two meters, is made up of a few square shaped, woody stems and hundreds of flower spikes. I’m not sure why. Purple loosestrife is found along waterways, marshes and wetlands. Purple Loosestrife are the tall bright purple flowering plants you see mixed in with cattails lining the edge of many lakes and wetlands. Followi ng fertilization, seeds are produced. Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant native to Europe and Asia that was brought to North America the early 19 th century. 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