Purple Loosestrife

Lythrum Salicaria

Identifying Characteristics

-The stem is tall. It's about 60 to 120cm high. They usually have very thin hair on them.

-The leaves are forest green. They are opposite. Sometimes, the leaves are whorled. The leaves are attached directly to the stem.

-There are a few lush-magenta flowers which are stalkless and have up to 5 to 7 petals each. Much older plants can have 30 to 50 stems coming from a single rootstock.

Last Seen

-Purple loosestrife species originates from Europe and Asia.

-The Purple Loosestrife species can be found throughout Ontario, but it is mostly found widely spread throughout the Great Lakes, The St. Lawrence River Basin, and in scattered locations down north around cities and towns such as: Timmins, Geraldton, Sioux Lookout, and Rainy River.

-It can also be found in wet meadows, rivers, flood-plains, damp roadsides, and in marshes.

First Offence

-The Purple Loosestrife species was introduced to Canada in the 1800s. It was known for its medicinal (healing properties) and its relativeness to the practice of garden management.

Known Accomplices

-There are many Purple Loosestrife species throughout Canada and these organisms were introduced to its new habitat during the early 19th century. The seeds of this highly invasive plant were included in soil used as a heavy material in European sailing ships, and then they were gotten rid of in North America. This seed belonged to an extremely invasive plant, for which even after they were discarded, the plant was found and spread across the nation by early settlers, and now there are easily expanding species near areas of wetlands, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Crimes Commited

-This organism causes aquatic ecological damage because it invades various wetlands such as: freshwater wet meadows, marshes surrounded by water, marshes not surrounded by water, rivers, stream banks, pond edges, resevoirs, and ditches.

- It crowds out at least 44 kinds of native grasses and other flowering plants that offer high-quality nutrition for wildlife.

-The Purple Loosestrife does not eat anything because it is a primary producer and it belongs to the first trophic level. Specific beetles can eat on Purple Loosestrife and get rid of them.

Attempts at Capture

- Authorities have tried to control the species with mechanical, chemical, and biological removal equipment. Judging by the size of invasion by this species, each control method is distributed amongst them. When you have small invasions with few plants, it's better to hand pull them out till the roots to prevent more from growing on. If there is a huge invasion, it's better to have biological control agents take care of it.

-Authorities have stated that you should wear special clothing and use special equipment to do the removal process. If the invasion is in a marsh area, then have professionals deal with the matter.


-If this species remains, it will continuously expand, and afterwards an estimate of $45 million will be needed for habitat restoration and controlling methods.

-This continuous growth will damage farmlands by blocking/clogging up their supply of water to land or crops for growth, and by blocking/clogging their drainage systems.

-If this species remains, many insects, native birds, and other species homes would be affected. If it grows and invades other plants habitats, then there would be less biodiversity.

-If you help capture this invading species, you will be rewarded the National Wildlife Protector Certificate along with a medal which represents you being an important person in our society.

Contact Us

-If you see this species, you should call the National Wildlife Refuge Association at 212-417-3803 or contact them by email at nwra@refugeassociation.org.

-You may also call the Pest Management Centre at 613-759-1725 or contact them by email at pmc.cla.info@agr.gc.ca.

-You can also contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.

-You may also call the Minnesota Sea Grant Program at 218-726-8106 or contact them by email at seagr@d.umn.edu.

-If you see this species, you may also contact the Canadian Wildlife Federation at 1-800-565-6305.


Source #1:

National Wildlife Refuge Association. (nd). Purple Loosestrife. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://refugeassociation.org/advocacy/refuge-issues/invasive-species/purple-loosestrife/

Source #2:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. (2016). Loosestrife, Purple, Lythrum Salicaria. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://www.weedinfo.ca/en/weed-index/view/id/LYTSA

Source #3:

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program. (2012). Purple Loosestrife. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-terrestrial/purple-loosestrife/

Source #4:

Government of Ontario. (2012). Purple Loosestrife. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://Ontario.ca/document/Purple-Loosestrife

Source #5:

Canadian Wildlife Federation. (2016). Root out Purple Loosestrife. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://cwf-cfc.org/discover-wildlife/resources/activities/take-action-factsheets/habitat-projects/map-your-backyard/root-out-purple-loosestrife.html

Source #6:

Government of Canada. (2016). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/offices-and-locations/pest-management-centre/contact-the-pest-management-centre/?id=117672521057

Source #7:

Minnesota Sea Grant. (2016). Purple Loosestrife: What you should know, What you can do. Retrieved May 18, 2016 from http://seagrant.umn.edu/ais/purpleloosestrife_info