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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Purple Loosestrife
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Purple Loosestrife

Purple LoosestrifeScientific name: Lythrum salicaria L. (ITIS)

Common names: Purple loosestrife, spiked loosestrife

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Munger 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Exact date unknown; was established by the 1830s (Munger 2002)

Means of Introduction: Through ships' ballast and as an ornamental (Munger 2002)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Munger 2002)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Purple Loosestrife
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Lythrum salicaria
California Invasive Plant Council.
In online book: Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky (Editors). 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA

Invasive Plants of Ohio: Fact Sheet 4 - Purple Loosestrife (PDF | 319 KB)
Ohio Invasive Plants Council.
See also: Invasive Plants of Ohio for worst invasive plant species identified in Ohio's natural areas

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Purple Loosestrife
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.

Fact Sheet: Purple Loosestrife (Jan 2014; PDF | 986 KB)
Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Stop the Invasion: Purple Loosestrife (Jun 2016; PDF | 591 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC): Species Biography - Purple Loosestrife and European Wand Loosestrife (Feb 8, 2011; PDF | 168 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Center for Conservation Science.
See also: Non-Native Plant Species List for additional factsheets (species biographies) and species risk assessment reports of non-native species present in Alaska and also non-native species currently not recorded in Alaska (potential invasives).

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Purple Loosestrife
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth - Purple Loosestrife
Mississippi State University. Geosystems Research Institute.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Purple Loosestrife
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

New York Invasive Species Information - Purple Loosestrife
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Texas Invasives Database - Lythrum salicaria

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Purple Loosestrife
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Lythrum salicaria
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Global Invasive Species Database - Lythrum salicaria (aquatic plant, herb)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: Purple Loosestrife
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Lythrum salicaria
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Lythrum salicaria
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Purple Loosestrife
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Spread, Impact, and Control of Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in North American Wetlands
HathiTrust Digital Library.
Thompson, D. Q. (1987). Spread, impact, and control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in North American wetlands. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.

Exotic Species: Purple Loosestrife (2010)
DOI. NPS. Science of the American Southwest.

See also: Invasive Plant Species for more fact sheets

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS): Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database - Lythrum salicaria
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

State Government

Encycloweedia: Data Sheet - Lythrum genus
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
See also: Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources

Noxious Weed Species - Purple Loosestrife
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.

Maryland's Invasive and Exotic Species - Purple Loosestrife
Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Wildlife and Heritage Service.

Aquatic Invasive Species - Purple Loosestrife
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Environmental Fact Sheet: Purple Loosestrife: An Exotic Menace (2010; PDF | 1.61 MB)
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
See also: Exotic Species Program - Publications for more resources

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Purple Loosestrife (PDF | 128 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands

Field Guide: Invasive - Purple Loosestrife
Missouri Department of Conservation.

See also: Problem Plant Control (scroll to Invasive Plants section) for more information to help you identify and control most common invasive plants in Missouri

Class B Noxious Weed: Purple Loosestrife
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.

King County (Washington) Noxious Weed Control Program - Purple Loosestrife
King County Department of Natural Resources (Washington). Water and Land Resources Division.

Purple Loosestrife
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Maine Invasive Plants Bulletin: Purple Loosestrife
University of Maine. Cooperative Extension.
See also: Maine Invasive Plants & Entire Series for entire series of 22 fact sheets and invasive plants brochure (available in HTML/PDF or for purchase)

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Chesapeake Bay - Purple Loosestrife (Sep 2013; PDF | 115 KB)
Maryland Sea Grant.
See also: Six Species of Concern for more fact sheets

Purple Loosestrife: What You Should Know, What You Can Do
University of Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Purple loosestrife
(New York) Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Identification and Control of Invasive and Troublesome Weeds in North Dakota - Purple Loosestrife (PDF | 267 KB)
North Dakota State University. Extension Service.
A publication to help land managers properly identify and control noxious and invasive weeds found in the state. See Publication W1411 for entire publication, as well other species (reviewed and reprinted May 2015).

Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide - Purple Loosestrife
Ohio State University. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet - Purple Loosestrife (Nov 2011; PDF | 189 KB)
University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Flora Project of Morris Arboretum.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive plants in Pennsylvania

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Purple Loosestrife
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


Noxious Weed Information - Purple Loosestrife
Colorado Weed Management Association.

Weed Identification - Purple Loosestrife
Montana Weed Control Association.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Lythrum salicaria. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Munger, G.T. 2002. Lythrum salicaria. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

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Last Modified: Aug 25, 2018
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