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Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife is a wetland herb that was introduced as a garden perennial from Europe during the 1800's. Currently, about 24 states have laws prohibiting its importation or distribution because of its aggressively invasive characteristics. Purple loosestrife was first detected in Wisconsin in the early 1930's, but remained uncommon until the 1970's. It is now widely dispersed in the state, and has been recorded in 70 of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Purple loosestrife displaces native wetland vegetation and degrades wildlife habitat. As native vegetation is displaced, rare plants are often the first species to disappear. Eventually, purple loosestrife can overrun wetlands thousands of acres in size, and almost entirely eliminate the open water habitat. The plant can also be detrimental to recreation by choking waterways. By law, purple loosestrife is a nuisance species in Wisconsin. It is illegal to sell, distribute, or cultivate the plants or seeds, including any of its cultivars.

The Land & Water Conservation can help your group raise and release Galerucella beetles to help control purple loosestrife. Give us a call at (715) 732-7780.


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