Reward: Healthy Ecosystem in the U.S.


Name: Purple loosestrife

Scientific Name: Lythrum salicaria

Physical Characteristics: 2-7 feet high, 5-6 pinkish purple petals on each flower, smooth green leaves, square-shaped stalks

Habitat: Marshes, bogs, sedge meadows, wet prairies, and sometimes in roadside ditches, on river banks, and at the edges of reservoirs

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Purple loosestrife quickly crowds out most native vegetation in marsh, sedge meadow, wet prairie, and bog communities, creating a monoculture that provides little food or shelter for native wildlife.


Chemical control: For large infestation sites, glyphosate herbicides are sprayed directly onto the invasive plants.

Biological control: The plant's natural enemy, Galerucella beetles, are introduced into the area to prevent population explosions of purple loosestrife.