Invasive Species - Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
How It Spreads
Purple loosestrife spreads mainly by
seed, but it can also spread vegetatively from root or stem segments. A single
stalk can produce from 100,000 to 300,000 seeds per year. Seed survival is up to
60-70%, resulting in an extensive seed bank. Mature plants with up to 50 shoots
grow over 6 feet high and produce more than two million seeds each year.
Germination is restricted to open, wet soils and requires high temperatures, but
seeds remain viable in the soil for many years. Even seeds submerged in water
can live for approximately 20 months. Most of the seeds fall near the parent
plant, but water, animals, boats, and humans can transport the seeds long
distances. Vegetative spread through local perturbation is also characteristic
of loosestrife; clipped, trampled, or buried stems of established plants may
produce shoots and roots.
What You Can Do
Purple Loosestrife can be treated with herbicides (requires MDEQ permit) or
be carefully removed to prevent the seeds from spreading. There are also
biological control programs sponsored by Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State
University which provide beetles that consume the flowers of the plant, thus
preventing the seeds with cause it to spread.
|Learn to recognize Purple Loosestrife. We have had quantities in the
cove and southwest portion of the lake.
Click here for a good article.
|Report any plants found to Runyan Lake Inc. so we can attempt to remove
|Inspect and carefully remove the plants, at least the tops with flowers,
taking care not to drop flowers or seeds into the lake.
|Removed plants should be placed in a plastic trash bag and put out for
removal by your refuse company. with your regular trash
|DO NOT BURN THE PLANTS as this will distribute the seeds.
Runyan Lake Inc. and its members have removed plants from several areas of the lake
to control its presence.
Purple Loosestrife in Michigan
Wisconsin DNR Loosestrife
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