ECHPC – Invasive Plants

ECHPC – Invasive Plants Initiative
  • Be on the lookout for the European Water Chestnut (Trapa natans)
  • Keep your eyes open for Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Invasive Plant Guide available

Invasive Species have been discovered in Eastford and over the past several years, commission members and other key volunteers have worked to diminish the population of the European Water Chestnut and Purple Loosestrife.  Here are some important resources and facts on the exotic invasive plant(s):

European Water Chestnut

Purple Loosestrife

Invasive Plant Guides Available:

The U.S. Forest Service State & Private Forestry Division has just published a new, weather-resistant, color illustrated, pocket-sized “Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide: an ecological perspective of plant invaders of forests and woodlands.” To quote the introduction, “The purpose of this particular field guide is to give a scientific synthesis of what is known about the behavior of such species in managed, disturbed, and pristine forested systems, in addition to key information for accurate identification.” The guide includes an extensive list of citations of peer-reviewed research on each species for those who wish to learn more. The pages are bound in a steel-ring loose leaf format, and the Forest Service anticipates printing additional sheets that can be added to the guide. Single copies can be obtained by contacting Tom Rawinski at the U.S. Forest Service Durham New Hampshire office: (603)868-7642 or email

USDA NRCS Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) – Purple loosestrife negatively affects both wildlife and agriculture. It displaces and replaces native flora
and fauna, eliminating food, nesting and shelter for wildlife. Purple loosestrife forms a single-species stand that no bird, mammal, or fish depends upon, and germinates faster than many native wetland species. If wildlife species are displaced, those that cannot move into new areas may be lost. By reducing habitat size, purple loosestrife has a negative impact of fish  spawning and waterfowl habitat.  The plant also diminishes wetland recreational values such as boating, fishing and hunting. This, in turn, may hurt local economies. Purple loosestrife  affects agriculture by blocking flow in drainage and irrigation ditches and decreasing crop yield and quality.

USDA NRCS Water Chestnut – Water chestnut is easily recognized by its fruits and its whorls of floating leaves. In July-Sept., tiny, white flowers (with petals about 1/3″ long) grow beneath the inner whorls of leaves. After pollination, the flower stems bend down and the fruit develops underwater. When mature (in about a month), the fruits have a fleshy, green to greenish-brown outside layer which wears off to reveal a hard, stoutly-spined, black seed. The seeds remain viable in the mud underwater for 1-5 years (or more). Floating black seeds will not sprout.

Native Plant Trust – Classifying a species as invasive is not simply xenophobia projected onto the landscape. In New England, non-native plant species make up more than a third of our flora, and 10 percent of these qualify as invasive. Even species native to the U.S. may be invasive in some parts of the country and not in others. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Invasive Species – Protecting native species and the habitats in which they occur is an objective of the Department. To address the issue, the Department has taken measures to control and remove invasive species on state land while offering assistance to private landowners seeking to manage invasive species on their properties.

Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group – The Forest Service National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management responds to a 2010 USDA Office of Inspector General audit of Forest Service invasive programs by providing a consistent, agency-wide approach to the prevention, detection, and control of invasive insects, pathogens, plants, wildlife, and fish.

Cards of Common Invasive Plants – Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Calendar for Non-Chemical Management of Top 10 Invasive Plants – 

USDA U.S. Forest Service Forest Service National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management 

USDA U.S. Forest Service Invasive Species – The Forest Service plays an important role in each of the national federal interagency coordinating groups addressing invasive species, including the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF), the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW)Federal Interagency Feral Swine Task Force, and the Federal Interagency Committee for Invasive Terrestrial Animals and Pathogens (ITAP). The agency works closely with federal programs and agencies within the National Invasive Species Council to help advance implementation of the Presidential Executive Orders regarding invasive species.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) – was established by Congress with the passage of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (NANPCA) in 1990 and reauthorized with the passage of the National Invasive Species Act (NISA) in 1996 (collectively, the Act). Composed of 13 Federal and 15 ex-officio members, it is the only Federally-mandated intergovernmental organization solely dedicated to preventing and controlling ANS.

Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) – represents an unprecedented formal partnership between 18 federal agencies with direct invasive plant management and regulatory responsibilities spanning across the United States and territories. FICMNEW was established through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by agency leadership in 1994 and 1997. It is currently co-chaired by DOI-NPS (Terri Hogan) and DOE (Eric Bradley).

Federal Interagency Feral Swine Task Force, and the Federal Interagency Committee for Invasive Terrestrial Animals and Pathogens (ITAP) – mission is to support and facilitate more efficient networking and sharing of technical information for program planning and coordination among federal agencies and departments involved with invasive species research and management.

Presidential Executive Orders regarding invasive species – Provides information for executive orders related to invasive species issues. Executive orders are orders issued by United States Presidents and directed towards officers and agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. Executive orders have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself.

Wild Spotter™ – Wild SpotterTM – Engaging and empowering the public to help find, map, and prevent invasive species in America’s wilderness areas, wild rivers, and other natural areas. Become a Wild Spotter citizen scientist volunteer, download the Mobile App, and help protect America’s Wild Places!