Happy Canada Day, loyal readers! Who was able to guess our first “I Spy” of July? If you managed to figure it out, then congratulations! If not, don’t worry because we’re going to give you the answer below, so keep on reading!
Purple Loosestrife, also known as the “Beautiful Killer” is considered a noxious plant in British Columbia. Originating from Europe, Purple Loosestrife was brought over to North America in the water ballast of a ship, and was initially introduced as a medicinal plant. More recently, it has been sold in garden stores and nurseries, has been used as water ornamental, and is even used by beekeepers to produce a popular, quality honey.
Despite its seemingly positive benefits, Purple Loosestrife is detrimental to the ecosystems that it invades. It is destructive to local landscapes, clogs irrigation systems, obstructs waterways used by recreational boaters, out-competes native aquatic plants and has little food value and nesting material for animals, reducing habitat diversity. Purple Loosestrife prefers predominately sunny, wetland habitats, and is good at reproducing quickly, forming dense stands.
Purple Loosestrife can be spotted in parts of the Sea to Sky Corridor, the Lower Fraser Valley, Southern Vancouver Island, in the Okanagan and in localized patches in the Kootenay and Omineca regions. If you do see Purple Loosestrife anywhere in the Sea to Sky corridor, please let the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council know by clicking here, emailing [email protected] or by calling (604)-698-8334.