Purple Loosestrife In Manchaug Pond Watershed and Shoreline

PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE (Lythrum salicaria)
For two years now I have pulled a single plant from the Manchaug Road roadside only to find this year loosestrife is scattered throughout the watershed!

This month 2 plants have been spotted in bloom on the Manchaug Pond shoreline in Area 2 – one by the big rock on Manchaug Road and the other at the Camp Blanchard shore.

It is also growing along roadsides of the watershed: Lackey Road, Douglas Road, Central Turnpike.

Purple Loosestrife, is one of the state’s “MOST UN-WANTED AQUATIC EXOTIC SPECIES” as it can totally take over a lake – going from a sea of blue water to a field of purple and green plants. Ugh!

Up close it is an attractive, purple, herbaceous perennial introduced from Asia and Europe. In the US, it is aggressive and fast growing with no native “predator” species to control it. If left alone, it will spread rapidly filling our coves, wetlands and moist roadside areas taking over habitat and out competing native plants – “causing significant impairments, including reduced native plant coverage, lower plant diversity, and degraded wildlife habitat.”

CONTROL: for the MPA of this new infestation – HAND HARVEST. This recommendation comes as part of our 2009 Aquatic Vegetation & Management Survey performed July 15th by Lycott Environmental, Inc.

Here’s the plan:

See purple?

1. Stop the car, boat or feet.
2. Pull the plant out of the ground.
3. Burn it in the campfire – if no campfire, put it in a black trash bag, place in the sun until you can send it to the transfer station for incineration.
4. Do NOT compost.

I personally ask each of you, every property owner, to remove this plant from your property and help the MPA eradicate it from the watershed roadsides.

To read more about the Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Project try this link:

A date is being scheduled and a group organizing to target another set of invasives. We will be sure to invite you! Stay tuned…