Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife is a pest plant in

my state, WA, and across North America.

I first noticed it here in a pond next to a highway where I drive in the mornings after dropping off a bunch of higher schoolers at 7am (yawn!). Then I noticed it spreading down the Columbia river which is right across the highway from the pond.

The pond was just partly filled in with millions of dollars of freeway widening (take that plant!) along with a beautiful stand of yellow water iris (they are replacing the pond with a manufactured wetland that should be interesting to watch happen).

I uprooted a tiny seedling of purple loosestrife from the river to experiment with. I put it in one of my deck ponds,

the cattail pond, and played with it. I’d cut off the flower heads and the thing would produce new flower spikes. I’d cut it down to nubbins and it would come back. I never let it go to seed. Then I decided to ‘kill’ it. I let the tub dry out and cut back the cattails, rush and snipped off purple loosestrife to nubbins again and dumped it all

into a dry compost area. 

That was last fall.

Today I walked by the dried out husk of the old cattail tub and, BACK FROM THE DEAD, is the purple loosestrife plant!!!! Nothing else has come back from the debris but there is the purple loosestrife plant thriving and ready to try and take over the world! And here it is…

Next week I’ll get back to damselflies ~ other articles archived to the right and under April (frogs, herons and turtles).