September 13, 2010

Purple Loosestrife

The purple loosestrife growing at the borders of my pond has begun to dry, turning a beautiful purplish color, so I picked a bunch for winter display. Now I must go out and cut all the heads so that the plants don't set seed. I love the look of this flower, but I found out from listening to a program on Vermont Public Radio that it is very invasive, taking over wetlands and crowding out native plants. I had no idea of this when I planted 2 or 3 around my pond. For years they didn't spread, barely even bloomed because the deer ate them (there's a worn trail in the grass around the pond). But this year they are on the move: I pulled out several plants that had migrated to my lower field, where I'd never seen them before. Here is a perfect example of the dark side of beauty.


  1. The "dark side of beauty" is an apt description. Here in the Midwest you can see its invasive side along with canary reed grass and garlic mustard. For years I enjoyed the way loosestrife looked along the highways before I realized why it was a problem.

  2. oh dear, Linda, canary reed grass is another invasive that I have near my pond and spreading in my fields. I had thought it was just a very pretty grass, again not realizing its destructive power.