Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria)
About Purple Loosestrife
Purple Loosestrife is a beautiful but aggressive hardy perennial that rapidly degrades and chokes wetlands and erodes wildlife
habitats. It can grow up to 3 m (9ft) at maturity, has an erect 4 sided stem with heart shaped or rounded leaves at the bottom
and a showy spike of delicate purple flowers (not to be mistaken for fireweed that has a rounded stem and prefers drier
conditions). Once flower petals start to drop from the bottom of the spike, the plant begins to produce seeds and spreads. Each
mature plant can produce over 2 million seeds per year. The best time to control is in late June, July and early August. The plant
is now encroaching on farmer’s crops and pasture land and impacting native plants, amphibians, birds and other wetland
How to Remove
- Pull by hand, easiest when plants are young (up to 2yrs old). Older plants have larger roots that can be eased out with a
garden fork. Remove as much of the root system as possible, because any broken roots may sprout new plants.
- Cut and remove flowering spikes, this will prevent seeds from producing more plants in the future. Place in heavy trash
bags and store in a dark place until completely dried out then dispose of in yard waste, burn or transport to a proper green
waste disposal facility. Careful not to shake seeds from the flowering spikes.
- Thoroughly brush off your clothes and equipment before leaving the infested site. DO NOT COMPOST fresh cut green plants
or roots. Disposal facilities: Salish Soils, Pender Harbour Transfer Station, Gibson’s Residential Green Waste Drop Off Site.
- Alternative plants: Blazing Star, Bloody Iris, Spike Speedwell, Tall Delphinium.