PURPLE LOOSE STRIFE IS NOT A NOXIOUS WEED !

Purple Loose Strife On The March Up Blue Line! This beauty is in the ditch beside a field of Ginseng.

Purple Loose Strife On The March Up Blue Line! This beauty is in the ditch beside a field of Ginseng.

A local resident contacted staff at Norfolk County with concern for the purple weed that is covering the lake bed of the former Silver Lake. This summer it has begun to move up the sides of the bank and coming on to residential properties. Staff clarified that Purple Loose Strife is NOT on the noxious weed list posted by MNR. It is only an INVASIVE  and outside the area of authority for local staff to take action. You can see it now on Blue Line on both sides of the road! 

Each mature plant can have more than thirty flowering stems which can produce up to 2.7 million seeds annually. As tiny as grains of sand, seeds are easily spread by water, wind, wildlife and humans. Mature plants can reproduce vegetatively with underground stems that can spread at a rate of 25 cm (9.8 in) each year. On mature plants, root-stock are extensive and can send out up to 30 to 50 shoots, creating a dense web which chokes out other plant life. Purple Loose Strife is not a NOXIOUS weed; it is an INVASIVE.

Purple Loose-Strife is a very hardy perennial which can rapidly degrade wetlands, diminishing their value for wildlife habitat. Hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival. When purple loose strife gets a foothold, it forms a dense monoculture, replacing native plant species and the habitat where fish and wildlife feed, seek shelter, reproduce and rear young. Purple Loose Strife is not a NOXIOUS weed; it is an INVASIVE.

Since purple loose strife can invade drier sites, the plant becomes more common on agricultural land, encroaching on farmers’ crops and pasture land. The spread of purple loose strife also has a direct economic impact when plants clog irrigation or drainage ditches on farmlands or cause degradation and loss of forage value of lowland pastures. An estimated 190,000 hectares of wetlands, marshes, pastures and riparian meadows are affected in North America each year, with an economic impact of millions of dollars. Purple Loose Strife is not a NOXIOUS weed; it is an INVASIVE.

Many organizations throughout North America have taken action to control the spread of purple loose strife. National wildlife services, state/provincial natural resource and environment agencies, universities, nursery trades associations, and conservation and community organizations have responded to the purple loose strife invasion by raising awareness of the threat posed by this invasive plant, and how to prevent its spread. The Federal, Provincial and Regional governments and Ducks Unlimited worked in partnership in Manitoba to carry out a 3 year project to eliminate Purple Loose Strife in recognition that their agricultural industry faced danger of being demolished. Check out its impact in Manitoba. It’s impact there could be described as noxious to the economy, crops, wild animals, farm stock, and the food industry. Purple Loose Strife is not a NOXIOUS weed; it is an INVASIVE.

Norfolk County plays a key role in supplying South West Ontario with fruits and vegetables. Agriculture is a key industry for us. Why are we not taking steps to preserve it?

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Environment Canada’s mandate is to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including water, air, soil, flora and fauna. You can report sightings online at http://www.invadingspecies.com or you can all the Invading Species hotline at 1-800-563-7711.  This same hotline is also listed on the Ministry of Natural Resources website as well.

Another contact for MOE is Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service, 4905 Dufferin Street, Downsview, ON, M3H 5T4  (416) 739-4986

2.  The Ministry of Agriculture can be alerted to this threat by calling the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300  or using the Agricultural Information Feedback Form or  sending an e-mail to ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca . If you wish to contact the Minister directly, you can use the Comments to the Minister feedback  form listed on the ministry website.

3. Diane Finley has demonstrated support for Norfolk County Agriculture when she announced an investment of $416,505 to the Norfolk County Agricultural Society for upgrades and beautification of the Norfolk County Fairgrounds. This investment was to create immediate employment to support the local economy under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) in Southern Ontario. She should be concerned that this investment may be at risk.

Diane Finley Simcoe Office, 76 Kent Street South, Simcoe, ON, N3Y 2Y1
Tel: 519-426-3400   E: diane.finley@parl.gc.ca

 

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