After not seeing purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in Western New York for many years, you may have noticed it making a comeback.
This invasive plant used to be common until certain insects were released to control it, according to an article by Lyn Chimera in the most recent edition of WNY Gardening Matters.
The insects were effective and loosestrife declined. But when the number of loosestrife plants declined, the number of insects also declined. This led to the return of purple loosestrife.
But don’t worry; as the plant spreads, the number of insects will increase and an element of control will follow. This is an example of nature controlling nature, Chimera said.
Other articles in this issue are:
- Tar Spots and Asian Giant Hornet: Two Hotline Trends Have you been wondering about those ugly spots on maple leaves– they won’t damage the tree. And “murder hornets” haven’t been identified outside the Northwest.
- Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Our eastern hemlock is endangered by this invasive species. Trees infested with HWA have almost 100 percent mortality.