• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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  • Valley Picnic Area Park Lot CLosed - Plateau Trail Loop Affected

    Valley Picnic Area Parking Lot is closed for the replacement of the damaged culvert on the Plateau Trail, from dusk on Monday, September 22 to 5 p.m., Thursday, October 2, 2014. Access to Plateau Trail is via the Oak Hill Trailhead. Loop unavailable.

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

Purple Loosestrife

©John Catalano

Purple loostrife

©John Catalano

Purple Loosestrife - Lythrum salicaria

General Description
Purple loosestrife is a tall erect perennial with a woody taproot and a branching, fibrous root system. A single loosestrife stalk may produce as many as 300,000 flat thin-walled seeds. This plant is capable of invading many wetland communities including wet freshwater meadows, river and stream banks, pond edges, reservoirs, and ditches.

The most obvious characteristic is the magenta flower spikes. Look also for a square stem and opposite, stalk-less leaves.

Purple loosestrife was introduced in the 1800s from Europe and Asia as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Though still widely sold as an ornamental in the United States, its sale is prohibited in Ohio.

How It Spreads
Purple loosestrife spreads through a huge abundance of seeds, dispersed by wind and water. A mature plant can have 30 or more stems from one rootstock, and can produce up to two to three million seeds per year. It also spreads vegetatively through underground stems at a rate of one foot per year.

Control Methods
A mechanical approach is only recommended for new infestations of less than one hundred plants. Hand pulling should be done in early to mid-summer before seeds develop and result in removal of as much of the plant as possible since small, remaining fragments can grow into new plants. Removed plants should be bagged.

Large infestations may be treated chemically in July through August by spraying a 1 1/2 % solution of glyphosate over at least half of the plant's surface.

Did You Know?

Photo of Bald Eagle taken in Cuyahoga Valley National Park where an eagle pair built their first nest in 2006. Photo by Martin Trimmer.

November is the time to be on the lookout for bald eagles performing aerial courtship displays. Once eagles have selected each other, they plunge through the air in very high dives, locking their talons and breaking apart just when it looks as though they will crash to the ground.