Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife
(Lythrum salicaria L. & Lythrum virgatum L. )

Life Span: Perennial
Origin: Eurasia and Africa
Reproduction: Rhizomes and Seeds
Other Names: Purple Lythrum, Spiked Loosestrife, Robert’s Lythrum

Scattered across Nebraska in marshes, along rivers, ditches, and wet meadows. The largest infestations are along the Platte River in Central Nebraska, and along the Missouri River above Gavin’s Point Dam. Other infestations can be found along the Niobrara River and in ornamental settings.

Purple Loosestrife is rapidly and aggressively spreading and has been placed on the Noxious Weed List in some north central states. Several varieties have been developed which can cross with wild types and produce viable seed. It is extremely difficult to control, and concentrated efforts should be made to keep it from spreading.

Purple Loosestrife is rapidly and aggressively spreading and has been placed on the Noxious Weed List in some north central states. Several varieties have been developed which can cross with wild types and produce viable seed. It is extremely difficult to control, and concentrated efforts should be made to keep it from spreading.

In Madison County, infestations can be found along the Elkhorn River and most importantly in ornamental settings. The concern with the ornamental plants is that they can be viable and spread just as easily as wild varieties. Because Purple Loosestrife is such a prolific seed producer (up to 2 million seeds per plant), it can spread very fast in an aquatic or wetland setting (including small streams and drainage ditches).

Madison County Weed Control will be contacting and working with property owners that have “Wild” infestations. Together, we will work on a strategy to eliminate, or reduce the infestations by use of mechanical (digging), chemical (herbicides), or biological (insects) controls. Each strategy will depend on infestation size and the sensitivity (environment) of the infested site. If you have an infestation, or know of one, please contact our office, so we can help you control that area.

For a more detailed description of Purple Loosestrife, check out the Nebraska Weed Control Association Website.