Invasive SpeciesPurple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria
FOUND by pparent
East Waterboro
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by pparent
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
Mr. P returned to Southern Maine in mid. August and stopped in to school one morning. He noticed purple flowers in the pond area and took a closer look. He later returned with a camera and gps to document what he found. We (his period 5 and 6 classes) are looking at the evidence pictures and are submitting the findings based on the pictures. We have been to the plant to get a look at it. It has no purple flowers now but still has the spikes where the flowers were. Mr. P. spent part of his summer learning more about Lythrum salicaria (the scientific name) and what it does and doesn't look like. He showed us what he submitted to Vital Signs this Summer when he was in Northern Maine. He thought he found a whole field of Purple Loosestrife. It sure looked like it to us also, based on very similar characteristics. We learned that plants can have many similar characteristics and it is hard to tell them apart sometimes. He wants us to be absolutely sure we have enough evidence to support our findings. Based on the pictures, this plant looks very suspicious. It was found in the pond area of campus, a great area for Purple Loosestrife to grow. This area was surveyed last year by students and there was no Loosestrife found. The whole pond area was really flooded last Spring and maybe the seeds got here when cars went through the flooded road.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
This photo shows a purple flower with 5 to 7 petals growing on a spike.
Photo of my evidence.
This plant has lance shaped leaves that are opposite.
Photo of my evidence.
If you zoom in, this picture shows the fuzzy, square stem.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Lythrum salicaria
Common name:
Purple loosestrife
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.581550 °
W -70.702380 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Freshwater - On a wetland
Trip Information
East Waterboro Pond Edge
Trip date: 
Tue, 2010-08-24 10:02
Town or city: 
East Waterboro
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey
MIDAS Code: 


Periods 5 and 6,
Well, you were right. Well done. There is enough evidence in the pictures you selected and descriptions to prove that we have Lythrum salicaria in our Pond Area at MMS. This is something students began searching for last year and found no evidence. It was lucky that the photos were taken in mid August when there were flowers because, as you all know, it is a lot harder to find the plants now without the bright purple. We will all have to take some pictures of the plant over the course of the year to note how it changes so we will know what it may look like through the seasons in case we run into it elsewhere. Any predictions on what may happen in our Pond Area now that Purple Loosestrife is present or ideas on what we should do now? Remember our native/invasive activity we did outside earlier? By the way, who was the talented photographer anyway?

Wow, nice pictures.