Plant Profiles Purple Loosestrife

The Purple Loosestrife plant is native to Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The stem’s colors range from red to purple. The flowers of this plant are a beautiful reddish purple. This plant is pollinated by insects like bees and butterflies. The Purple Loosestrife has long been used in herbal medicine. This is because the plant contains natural astringent properties. It has been used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. This plant was used to treat ailments in children and adults. Many people use the plant for ornamental purposes because of the beautiful and bright flowers.

A wide array of insects feed on this plant like the beetle and the moth. This plant is beautiful, but it is also a very aggressive invader. The Purple Loosestrife was introduced to North America in the 1800s. Today, the plant can be found all across the United States and Canada. In many regions it is considered to be an invader because it disrupts wetlands, farms, pasture lands, and areas where wild rice are harvested and grown. Actions are taken to control the spread of the plant in these areas. This plant spreads very fast. The plant can easily be pulled up by hand when it is young. In the United States, this plant is controlled by chemical control. Purple Loosestrife is best controlled in the months of June, July and August.

The Purple Loosestrife plant can grow from four to ten feet high. The plant is known to invade wetlands, marshes, meadows, ditches, riverbanks and streambanks. In some states it is illegal to sell this plant. In some states in the United States, the plant is sold for ornamental purposes. The root of this plant is a woody taproot. Some people prefer to use this plant for landscaping purposes. It is able to tolerate moist soil and shallow water well. It spreads by stems, roots and seeds. It is known for choking waterways and damage recreational areas. It has also been known to eliminate rare plant species. That is why controlling this plant is very important to many regions. In the state of Wisconsin, there is a law that states it is illegal to sell or grow the plant or seeds. The flowers of this plant provide a large source of nectar which attracts many bees and butterflies. Bee keepers introduced this plant to many areas of North America. The Purple Loosestrife looks very similar to the Fireweed plant.