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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Purple Loosestrife(Lythrum Salicaria)Casey Flow It invades marshes and lakeshores,replacing cattails and other wetlandsand plants.They form dense, impenetrable standswhich are suitable as cover, food, or nesting sites. It is tall, branching perennialherb that grows in moist and marshy areas. It can grow up to 8 ft tall. In July, long spikes of purple-pink flowers at the top of the plant. The Massachusetts Wetland Restoration Program (now part of DER) began working in partnership the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists to rear and release beetles through their Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Project and coordinated the Project'sfirst release in 2000 at a site in Walpole. Since then the Program coordinated releases at 43 sites. The long-term objective of biological control is to reduce the abundance of loosestrife in wetland habitats. It will not be eradicated from most wetlands where it presently occurs, but its abundance can be significantly reduced so that is only a small component of the plant community, not a dominant one. It has dominated seedbanks. It has caused local reductionsin native plant species richness. It originated in Europe and some parts of Asia With the exception of reduced palatability of hay containing purple loosestrife and reduction of water flow in irrigation systems in the West, purple loosestrife does not cause direct economic losses. Indirect losses accrue due to reductions in waterfowl viewing and hunting opportunities.
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