Biology and Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, is a large, perennial, wetland plant that can grow up to 9 feet tall. Once established, purple loosestrife quickly crowds out most native vegetation, such as sedges, rushes, cattails, and other wetland plant species. At high densities, purple loosestrife can create near-monocultures. In addition to the loss of native biodiversity, purple loosestrife harms waterfowl nesting habitat, has negative impacts on some amphibians and algal communities, reduces water flow and quality, inhibits transportation, and degrades hunting and fishing areas.


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