Parrotfeather
Myriophyllum aquaticum

Report a discovery in an unlisted area

If you think you’ve seen or caught a Parrotfeather:

  • Do not release it into the water.
  • Catch it and keep it frozen. If you can’t do that, destroy it.
  • Note the location (with GPS coordinates if possible) as well as the observation date.
  • Contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Identifying features

Parrotfeather has both submerged and emergent leaves. Its feather-like leaves are arranged around the stem in whorls of four to six. The submersed leaves are 1.5 - 3.5 cm long. The emergent leaves are 2 to 5 cm long with 16 to 18 divisions per leaf. The emergent stem and bright green leaves grow up to a foot above the water. White flowers are known to occur in North America.

Where it has been found

Populations have been found in the Fraser Valley of B.C.

Ecological and economic impacts

Parrotfeather can alter native vegetation and shade natural algae that serve as the basis for the aquatic food chain. Parrotfeather can cause problems in irrigation and drainage canals and clogs waterways, which can restrict recreational activities such as boating, swimming and fishing. The dense growth of this plant creates stagnant waters, increasing breeding grounds for mosquitoes (some of which can carry diseases).

Origins and mode of arrival

Native to South America

Mode of dissemination

Parrotfeather is an example of a plant introduced for use in indoor and outdoor aquariums and water gardens that has escaped and spread to natural aquatic ecosystems.

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