Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a non-native or exotic plant. It has Purple flowers in a dense spike. The flowers are showy, and measure 1/2 to 3/4” wide, with petals. The leaves are downy and lance-shaped, somewhat clasping the stem, and grow in pairs or sometimes in whorls of 3. It grows in swamps and wet meadows often growing in large colonies.
While beautiful in full bloom, it is a very aggressive plant and quickly takes over other plants native to an ecosystem. Once the balance of a system is disrupted, A plant out of its native place can change the whole system, not just the plants. These invaders can affect the birds and animals as well!
Learn about this and other exotic species in the St Croix River Basin at:
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Photo by Peg Boike, 1st place adult, landscape