The last days of summer slipped into the past so quickly. One day I was excited to see the green buds forming on bare branches and the next thing I knew the leaves were dropping on my lawn. It was only a few weeks ago that I spotted the tall stalks and bright purple flower spikes of purple loosestrife. The beauty of the flowers against the deep blue sky was soothing indeed. After such a fast paced day I needed a few moments to enjoy the empty space near the railroad. The lore associated with loosestrife is that it’s presence bring peace. I have to admit that I did feel more at ease while I took the picture. The problem is that loosestrife is an invasive species that’s able to crowed out even cattail. What’s more is that it doesn’t really have food value for North American wildlife and cattail does. That’s how it got the nickname of “The Beautiful Killer”. In spite of the wonderful colors and texture that the loosestrife provides it pushes out the native food species.
I believe that there’s a life lesson here. Loosestrife was brought to the New World as an ornamental plant. And there’s no denying that it is beautiful. But it has no natural enemies in North America and it speeads unchallenged outside of the garden. All of this happened in the Victorian Era when nobody would have thought about the consequences. The lesson of course is that just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean that it should be desired.
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