Flowering plant thought to be extinct seen in Vermont

MONKTON, Vt. — Botanists in Vermont say a flowering plant long thought to be extinct in the state is making a comeback.

Fish and Wildlife Department botanist Everett Marshall was hiking with his wife, Deb Parrella, in the Raven Ridge Natural Area in Monkton recently. She saw the small purple flowers of the native winged loosestrife while crossing a boardwalk through a wet meadow. A guidebook confirmed the identification.

The state says a small number of winged loosestrife plants were last observed by a botanist in Middlebury in 1979. Before that, there were only eight records of the plant in Vermont, the most recent in 1933.

The winged loosestrife is closely related to purple loosestrife, which is native to Europe and Asia and is invasive in Vermont.

The 365-acre Raven Ridge is owned by The Nature Conservancy.

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