Weevils, invasive plants add to Pitcher’s thistle woes

Capital News Service
LANSING — Invasive plants are further harming the fate of the already-threatened Pitcher’s thistle, according to a new study. And weevils brought in to control other weedy thistles are yet another new threat to the Pitcher’s thistle that grows on Great Lakes sand dunes, according to the study supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the University of Michigan Biological Station. Their report suggests that seedlings from greenhouses are needed to preserve the plant that the federal government listed as threatened in 1988. The study modeled the impact of invasive plants on the sandy shores of lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior where the Pitcher’s thistle grows. Claudia Jolls, one of the authors of the study, said it shows new challenges for a plant already imperiled by shoreline development.