Least wanted: Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

In recognition of Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week from May 19-25, I am re-posting a poem and photo about a dangerously beautiful noxious weed called Purple Loosestrife. “This years message from the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Control Program is H.E.L.P. – Habitat, Environment and Land Protection. You can help protect wildlife, natural environment and agricultural lands by controlling invasive weeds wherever you reside!”

The ancient eavesdropper

Least wanted: Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

For those of you in Eurasia,
this purple-petaled plant is endemic,
but here in North America,
we have striven to strike
down this invasive wetland
weed with biological controls
of weevils and beetles who
rapidly feed on its
roots, seeds and leaves.

Its fecundity astounding
at one to two million seeds
per several inflorescences,
dropped by the summer breeze
and falling to float atop
inundated soils,
each germinating capsule
a bane to marsh and man
when the weather warms
up post-primavera.

Try to fight your way
through an eight foot stand
and get greeted by bees
who know no other
pollen to attend.

This mighty monoculture
steals away native flora diversity,
alters entire food webs and
crowds open space otherwise
used by waterfowl to build nests
and procreate.

So, when out and about
in the States, check your
county’s noxious weed list,
and if spotted,
report said terrible purple

View original post 19 more words

About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
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1 Response to Least wanted: Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

  1. Pingback: Lythrurn salicaria | Find Me A Cure

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