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Home > Weeds > Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife—Lythrum salicaria

An attractive but invasive perennial, purple loosestrife has become established in a wide range of habitats including river banks, lake and pond shores, irrigation ditches and roadsides.

purple loosestrife plant purple loosestrife flowers purple loosestrife infestation
Plants grow in clumps. Mature plants can have 30 to 50 stems growing from a single rootstock. Flowers are showy and vibrant. Multiple flowers occur on 4 to 10 foot spikes, with pink-purple petals and yellow centers. Each plant produces one to three million seeds, which remain viable for several years. Purple loosestrife invades many wetland types where it crowds out native plants and degrades wetland habitat.

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[Photos, left to right: Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,; John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Archive, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,]

It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.