Monday, August 16, 2010

Purple Loosestrife and Other Invasive Plants - What's the Big Deal?

The DNR is currently asking for the help of property owners in controlling the increasing population of purple loosestrife and other invasive plant species. They are also asking for people to report sightings elsewhere so that they can be dealt with. This year has seen a large increase in purple loosestrife in particular due to unusually warm and wet weather conditions. Within the first year, a new plant will produce thousands of seeds which can remain viable for years. New infestations need to be discovered and controlled to prevent further spreading. The DNR gives instructions for how to deal with the purple loosestrife plants in their article, here. This plant can grow to be over 5 feet tall, and quickly dominate large areas. It has a negative effect on native wetland plants, wildlife habitat, rare plants and animals, and can be a danger to waterways. For more information on managing lake plants, see our recommended reading list, here.

Photo by Elizabeth J. Czarapata from the DNR.