Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife)

Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife)

Purple loosestrife is a very hardy invasive species which can rapidly degrade wetlands, diminishing their value for wildlife habitat. Wetlands are the most biologically diverse, productive component of our ecosystem. Hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival.

However, when purple loosestrife gets a foothold, the habitat where fish and wildlife feed, seek shelter, reproduce and rear young, quickly becomes choked under a sea of purple flowers.

In June, we hope the invasive loosestrife will meet its natural deterrent, Galerucella calmariensis!  These are beetles that FoBR has ordered through the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s invasives elimination program. The leaf-eaters seriously affect growth and seed production by feeding on the leaves and new shoot growth of purple loosestrife plants. They eat themselves out of food and then die. The size of a peppercorn, the beetles will arrive in early June in a dormant state for immediately released on Boyne River’s purple loosestrife.

Interested in purchasing beetles for loosestrife on your shoreline or wetland?  Contact Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council for quantity and cost details.  For more on beetles and purple loosestrife:  www.watershedcouncil.org/purple-loosestrife.

Galerucella Calmariensis, the nemesis of Purple Loosestrife.

Galerucella Calmariensis, the nemesis of Purple Loosestrife.