Ugh! Did I See PURPLE Near Manchaug Pond?!

Last weekend, driving on Manchaug Road at the edge of Areas 1 and 2, I thought I saw PURPLE on the side of the road farthest from the lake. See it in this photo – look close as it is tiny and almost finished flowering!

My fear was/is Purple loosestrife! A perennial which is flowering now and common along moist roadsides, and small ponds and lake edges. Within a few years an entire pond can become a sea of PURPLE! No exaggeration on my part either! Just think of the fish hatchery ponds on West Sutton Road in Sutton. Clearly smaller than Manchaug, but we don’t need our coves loaded with this!

Anyway, I pulled both plants and figured better to be safe and properly identify it later!

Here’s the official word on the HIGHLY INVASIVE weed Loosestrife (and there are a number of different species some showy, some not):

“Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant from Europe and Asia. It was introduced into the east coast of North America in the 1880s. First spreading along roads, canals, and drainage ditches, then later distributed as an ornamental, this exotic plant is in 40 states and all Canadian border provinces.

Purple loosestrife invades marshes and lakeshores, replacing cattails and other wetland plants. The plant can form dense, impenetrable stands which are unsuitable as cover, food, or nesting sites for a wide range of native wetland animals including ducks, geese, rails, bitterns, muskrats, frogs, toads, and turtles. Many rare and endangered wetland plants and animals are also at risk.

Adult height: 2 to 7 feet.

Purple loosestrife thrives on disturbed, moist soils, often invading after some type of construction activity. Eradicating an established stand is difficult because of an enormous number of seeds in the soil. One adult plant can disperse 2 million seeds annually. The plant is able to resprout from roots and broken stems that fall to the ground or into the water.

A major reason for purple loosestrife’s expansion is a lack of effective predators in North America. Several European insects that only attack purple loosestrife are being tested as a possible long-term biological control of purple loosestrife in North America.

Clean boats, clean waters…

If you are a water recreationalist — boater, angler, water-skier, scuba-diver, sailor, or canoeist — there are some important things you can do to prevent the transport of harmful exotic species from one lake or river to another. In some states and provinces it is illegal to transport harmful exotic species.

* Inspect your boat, trailer, and boating equipment (anchors, centerboards, rollers, axles) and remove any plants and animals that are visible before leaving any waterbody.
* Drain water from the motor, livewell, blige, and transom wells while on land before leaving any waterbody.
* Empty your bait bucket on land before leaving the waterbody. Never release live bait into a waterbody, or release aquatic animals from one waterbody into another.
* Wash and dry your boat, tackle, downriggers, trailer, and other boating equipment to kill harmful species that were not visible at the boat launch. This can be done on your way home or once you have returned home. Some aquatic nuisance species can survive more than 2 weeks out of the water, so it is important to:
o rinse your boat and equipment that normally get wet with HOT (at least 40°C or 104°F) tap water; or
o spray your boat and trailer with high-pressure water; or
o dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days, before transporting to another waterbody.
* Learn what these organisms look like (at least those you can see). If you suspect a new infestation of an exotic plant or animal, report it to your natural resource agency.
* Consult your natural resource agency for recommendations and permits before you try to control or eradicate an exotic “pest.” Remember, exotic “pest” species thrive on disturbance. Do-it-yourself control treatments often make matters worse and can harm native species.”

SO if you see PURPLE in Manchaug’s watershed – STOP the car, PULL the plant and DISPOSE of it. Do not composted it! Let us each be diligent to keep Manchaug Pond loosestrife free!

Click the title/link for more info!