Purple loosestrife was introduced to America as a garden plant. It has escaped from gardens and become a noxious weed in wetlands. In its native habitat in Europe and Asia, purple loosestrife is not very common -- various pests and diseases control its population. These pests and diseases, however, have not come along to America, so here it can grow in vast numbers, threatening native plant populations. Some people still grow purple loosestrife in their gardens. Please don't grow it in yours; we don't need it getting into any more wild places. Even the garden varieties that are claimed to be sterile are a problem. They may not make seed on their own, but they pollinate each other. More on purple loosestrife from the Plant Conservation Alliance and from Invasive Plant Atlas of New England.
- Family: loosestrife (Lythraceae)
- Habitat: swamps, wet meadows, ditches
- Height: 2-4 feet
- Flower size: 1/2 to 3/4 inch across
- Flower color: magenta
- Flowering time: June to September
- Origin: Eurasia