Letter to the Editor: Deadheading Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria (chesapeakebay.net)

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria (chesapeakebay.net)

     Beautiful red spikes with purple flowers? Yep, that’s purple loosestrife, a troublesome, biodiversity-killing invasive. But it’s pretty, right? In this letter to the editor Judy Larson Dimario writes about her personal efforts to stop the invasive’s spread in Vermont. She says simply snipping the flowers before they can produce seeds (about 1 million per plant), has caused stands of the plant to not return the following year. Though we can’t recommend it to everyone--cutting the flowers, if done improperly, runs the risk of further spreading the plant-- it is nice to hear about any effort, especially a personal one, in the fight against invasives.