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Noxious Weeds


Purple loosestrife/Lythrum (Lythrum salicaria L.)

Loosestrife family (Lythraceae

Composite photo of Purple loosestrife

 

GROWTH HABIT:
This rhizomatous perennial grows erect stems, often 6 to 8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) tall. It usually occupies moist or marshy sites, but once established tolerates intermittently dry areas. 
LEAVES: The leaves are simple, entire, and grow opposite each other or are whorled along the stem.
FLOWERS:
Rose-purple flowers have 5 to 7 petals and are arranged in long vertical racemes at the end of the stems. They are very showy mid-summer to fall.
SEEDS:
The small seeds, less than 1/16 inch (1 mm), are dark. This is an aggressive weed in moist sites because of its stout roots and its tendency to spread and propagate from seed and rhizomes.
OTHER:
Purple loosestrife is an introduced European ornamental. It has escaped to infest aquatic sites - streambanks, shorelines of shallow ponds and reservoirs, canals and ditches where it impedes water flow. Habitat for wildlife is greatly reduced. Many states have declared Purple loosestrife a noxious weed. The Nevada Division of Agriculture has requested nurseries stop selling it as an ornamental.
KEY CHARACTERS:
  • Showy rose-purple flowers bloom in long vertical racemes.
  • Lance-shaped leaves have smooth margins.
Distribution:Common in Nevada