Purple loosestrife is an invasive plant species that is native to Eurasia. Also known as spiked loosestrife and Lythrum salicaria, purple loosestrife is a pesky plant that can grow in wet soils and drier soils. Due to this plants ease with taking root, it creates a problem for local plant life.
I was drawn to this plant because of its vibrant colors and delicate flowers.
This uncontrollable invasive plant species can be found in the outskirts of my hometown Oregon City, OR. Due to its bright yellow flowers, it is very identifiable and easy to observe its unwelcoming presence. Scotch Broom can grow up to eight feet tall which makes it extra difficult to ravage its gentrification.
Photo Credit: OSU WordPress – Oregon State University
English Ivy is a non-native invasive climbing vine plant species. While it may appear beautiful to see the barks of trees covered in this climbing ivy, like those pictured on the left, it is extremely harmful to the health of the trees. The plant actually grows around the trunks of these trees so tightly that it suffocates them. It has a similar effect to plant species on the ground.
Last year I took an Environmental Studies course and was surprised to learn that the beautiful ivy I saw all throughout Oregon’s forests is actually extremely harmful. I decided to work with this plant as a way to further explore this species.
Photo Credit: Oregon Live
Japanese Knotweed is native to East Asia. In North America and Europe, the species has successfully established itself in numerous habitats, and is classified as an invasive species in several countries. Although once sold through seed and plant catalogs, by the late-1930s knotweed was already being viewed as a problematic pest. The plant, which can grow from 3 to 15 feet tall, has bamboo-like stems. As with many invasive plants, knotweed thrives in disturbed areas and once established can spread rapidly, creating monoculture stands that threaten native plant communities. Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. The young stems are edible as a spring vegetable, with a flavor similar to rhubarb. It is eaten in Japan as sansai or wild foraged vegetable. It is also used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat various disorders. I’m very interested in this plant, which came from where I’m from, labeled both good and evil, closely tied to our lives.
The photo taken last April in Mapleton, Oregon.