Downtown Waterfront

0.5 km Marker

Purple Loosestrife

Flower · Fleur · Waabigwan

Purple loosestrife. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Purple loosestrife is an invasive wetland plant that was brought to North America by sailing ships in the early 19th century and has spread quickly since then. You can identify this plant by the 5-7 purple flowers, height of 2.4 meters and the dense mats that it grows in along the water. Purple loosestrife can degrade wildlife habitats and crowd out native species.

Releases of two species of herbivorous beetles in the early 1990s and again in the early 2000s have helped reduce purple loosestrife populations in the area, allowing other plants to exist in wet habitat areas. Release areas included Searchmont Highway, Bellevue Park, Algoma University, and east of Sault Ste. Marie at the mouth of the Echo River, along Bar River, and Mississagi River west of Blind River.

To prevent the spread of purple loosestrife, stay on designated trails, and plant native plants in gardens.