Purple loosestrife has aggressively invaded freshwater and tidal wetland habitats in the northeast and has been found in the northwestern mountains in North Carolina. It is much easier to control an invasive species if we can manage infestations when they are still small. So, please watch out for purple loosestrife and report any infestations outside of Forsyth or Watauga counties to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Weed Specialist at 1-800-206-9333.
Purple loosestrife produces beautiful spikes of magenta flowers throughout the summer. The plant can grow as tall as 10’ but average height is 5’. The leaves are lance-shaped (less than ¼” long) and arranged either oppositely along the stem or in whorls of 3. Stems are covered in fine hairs and are square.
Fact Sheet: Purple Loosestrife
Photo credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org