Parrot feather spike with whorls of compound leaves. Photo Credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org.
COMMON NAME:Parrot Feather
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Myriophyllum aquaticum
DESCRIPTION:Parrot feather is an aquatic perennial species named for its bright green, feather-like appearance. Its stiff emergent leaves grow on spikes up to one foot above the water and grow in whorled clusters of 4-6 compound leaves that have 12-36 leaflet pairs. Its underwater leaves grow in dense mats of limp, compound leaves that are often decayed. Tiny, white flowers are found at the base of emergent leaves, but do not produce fruit in North America.
HABITAT:Parrot feather grows in freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds and streams that are slow-moving and have high nutrient levels.
THREAT:Parrot feather creates dense mats of vegetation that can cover the surface of the water and replace native plant communities. These mats may increase flood risks, increase mosquito breeding habitat and limit water use for recreational and industrial purposes.
Manual and mechanical control of parrot feather is not recommended as disturbance of this species may cause fragmentation and help spread the plant. Chemical control is difficult since it does not specifically target this species, and parrot feather has a waxy coating on emergent leaves inhibiting herbicide uptake. Prevention is the best form of management and includes not dumping aquarium plants and making sure that boats and gear are cleaned, drained and dried upon entering and leaving waterbodies.
WNY PRISM PRIORITY:
Approaching Region Priority Species
Tier 1 – Raise Awareness
NYS Prohibited and Regulated Species - Part 575:
Parrot feather is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99141.html.
PATHWAYS OF INVASION:
All parrot feather plants in North America are female and reproduce asexually by the fragmentation of stems and rhizomes which are spread by water, animals and on boats and fishing gear.
Not present. Parrot feather is found in New York State within the Long Island, Lower Hudson and Finger Lakes PRISMs.
MAP (via iMapInvasives):
To view more information for each point, zoom in, click on the point and select the "Maximize" symbol. Click "More info" to open the iMapInvasives record.
This map shows confirmed observations (green points) submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database.
Absence of data does not necessarily mean absence of the species at that site, but that it has not been reported there.
For more information, please visit iMapInvasives.