• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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  • Photographic Society Members' Show Rescheduled

    Thursday, August 14 Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society Members' Show has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 21 at Hines Hill Conference Center.

  • Towpath Trail Closure

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. More »

  • 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 »

  • Road Closures

    Quick Rd is closed from Akron Peninsula Rd to Pine Hollow Trailhead in Peninsula, from Wednesday, 7/16, for 6 weeks. Detours posted. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15. Road is open but there are still delays due to construction. Allow extra time. 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?

Monarch Butterfly - US Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

Early September is the time to watch monarchs feed in Cuyahoga Valley fields rich with goldenrod and New England aster. These places serve as important re-fueling sites for these long distance travelers on their way to oyamel forests near Mexico City more than 2,000 miles away.