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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Purple Loosetrife(Lythrum salicaria) DescriptionL. salicaria is a herbaceous,wetland perennial that grows in a wide range of habitats. Established plants canreach heights of 2m with 30-50 stems formingwide-topped crowns thatdominate the herbaceous canopy. The plant features a square, woody stem and opposite or whorled leaves. Leaves are lance-shaped, stalkless, and heart-shaped or rounded at the base. They produce a display of magenta-colored flower spikesthroughout the summer (June to September). Flowers have five to seven petals. Origin:L. salicaria, a plant of European origin,was introduced both as a contaminant of Europeanship ballast and as medicinal herb for treatment ofdiarrhea, dysentery, bleeding, wounds, ulcers and sores. Distribution: Purple loosestrife is capable of invadingwetlands such as freshwater wet meadows, tidal and non-tidal marshes, riverand stream banks, pond edges, reservoirs, and ditches. Problem:Invasion of L. salicaria into a wetland can result in the suppression of the resident plant community and the eventual alteration of the wetland's structure and function. Large stands of L. salicaria jeopardize various threatened and endangered native wetland plants and wildlife by eliminating natural foods and cover. Dense plant prescence in irrigation systems has impeded the flow of water. Method of Control:For older plants, chemical spot treating with a glyphosate type herbicide is recommended.But,for long term control of large infestations biological control isrecommended. Insects that eat the loosetrife should be introduced. Benefits of Removal:Removing Purple Loosetrife will increase biodiversity, promote water flow,and replenish food sources for marsh animals.
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