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Description The most notable characteristic of purple loosestrife is the showy spike of rose-purple flowers it displays in mid to late summer. Lance-shaped 1-4 inch (3-lO cm,) long leaves attach directly to the stem, and often have fine hairs on their surface. Stems erect, numerous, four-angled, from root stalk up to 2.5 m high. Each flower is made up of 5-7 petals, each 7-10 mm long, surrounding a small, yellow centre. In some places, purple loosestrife stands have replaced 50% of the native species. It features pink, purple or magenta flowers in dense spikes, up to 18 in. It can also be used to treat heavy periods and inter-menstrual bleeding. Do not compost them or discard them in natural areas. Purple loosestrife is now widespread in New Brunswick, being found in disturbed areas and in natural areas along river shores and in shoreline wetlands. Seed capsules form in mid to late summer, and each capsule contains many small seeds. Each stem is four- to six-sided. Flowers: Very showy, deep pink to purple (occasionally light pink, rarely white) flowers are arranged in a dense terminal spike-like flower cluster. Purple loosestrife leaves decompose faster and earlier than native species (which tend to decompose over the winter and in particular in the spring). Dispose of plants and roots by drying and burning or by composting in an enclosed area. Boats, trailers, fishing equipment, hiking shoes, and all other forms of transport vehicles can also carry the plant to new areas. Because of its fast growth, abundant seed production, and soil changing abilities, purple loosestrife is extremely competitive. Size and shape: Plants average 1-15 flowering stems, although a single rootstock can produce 30-50 erect stems. Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant native to Europe and Asia that was brought to North America in the early 19th century. Purple loosestrife definition is - a perennial Eurasian marsh herb (Lythrum salicaria) of the loosestrife family that is naturalized in eastern North America and has long spikes of purple flowers. Look Alikes: It is often confused with fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium),which has a rounded stem and leaves arranged alternately;blue vervain (Verbena hastata), which has toothed leaves; blazing stars (Liatris spp. Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria. When hiking, prevent the spread of invasive plants by staying on trails and keeping pets on a leash. Description. Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria, L. virgatum and any combination thereof) is listed as a MDA Prohibited Noxious Weed (Control List) and a prohibited invasive species in Minnesota, which means it is unlawful (a misdemeanor) to possess, import, purchase, transport or introduce this species except under a permit for disposal, control, research or education. The magenta flower spikes of the Purple Loosestrife. Very Invasive. Leaves are downy, narrow, and smooth-edged. Purple loosestrife blooms from June until September. As a result, the nutrients from decomposition are flushed from wetlands … In autumn, the leaves often turn red for about two weeks before fading and falling off. Files are available under licenses specified on their description page. The form of the stems is somewhat branched, smooth or finely hairy, with evenly-spaced nodes and short, slender branches. Leaf arrangement is opposite (two per node) or sometimes whorled (three or more per node) along an angular stem. In the 1930s, it became an aggressive invasive in the floodplain pastures of the St. Lawrence River and has steadily expanded its distribution since then, posing a serious threat to native emergent vegetation in shallow-water marshes throughout Ontario. Seeds are produced in a tiny, rounded seedpod/capsule, 3-6 mm in length and 2 mm broad with two valves enclosed in a calyx (a cuplike structure). Leaves are stalkless (attached directly to the stem), broad near the base and tapering towards the tip. Leaf size, typically 3-12 cm long, will change to maximize light availability – leaf area increases and fine hairs decrease with lower light levels. This change in the release timing of the chemicals produced through decomposition can slow frog tadpole development, decreasing their winter survival rate. Purple loosestrife seeds are minute and are borne in ¼” long capsules, which open at the top. Flower clusters 5.1 to 9.8 inches long, at stem ends (terminal). It is very common along the lower Saint John River and is still spreading. They grow oppositely arranged in pairs that alternate down the stem at 90° angles. Purple loosestrife has spikes of bright purple or magenta flowers that bloom in July to September. 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