Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3. Purple Loosestrife

Yet another invader--this one is a native of Europe, Asia, Northeast Africa, and southeastern Australia. I knew it was considered an invasive species (at least here in rainy New England), but now I know where it's from originally.

Whoo! No wonder this plant (Lythrum salicaria) is taking over--it's natural predators are still overseas, and each plant can produce up to 3,000,000 seeds per year. Unfortunately, native plants such as cattails are being completely crowded out in some areas. But biological control in the form of the introduction of insects that will prey on the plant's various parts has been implemented with some success.

Still, rivers and ponds with these pretty purple flowers surrounding them are a lovely sight to behold.


Paige said...

I had hoped to have this one on my list, but it's just a bit farther than a mile from my house. : (

I know it's invasive, but it's still one of my favourite plants. ; )

My grandfather planted some on his farm back in the thirties and it has spread down the stream from the farm, about two miles now. It's interesting to watch how it spreads.

Sandra Dodd said...

You're going to talk about those lily-pads, right? Don't forget!

Fiddler said...

Yes--I want to get down to the pond and take some good shots of the water plants! I was focusing on getting the blooming plants while they are still blooming. Didn't see any water lilies, but will look extra hard next time.