- Myriophyllum aquaticum
Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) is an aquatic perennial that is currently impacted several areas within BC. This species is known to out-compete and replace native aquatic vegetation with its dense stands. These stands also create pools of stagnant water, leading on an increase in mosquito breeding grounds. Parrot’s feather is currently present in freshwater lakes, ponds, or streams in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley regions.
Named for its feather-like bright green foliage, parrot’s feather has both submersed and emergent plant parts. Intertwined mats typically have standing stems over 1.5m in length which are covered in submersed stiff leaves roughly 2-5cm long; limp emergent leaves range from 1.5-3.5cm in length.
Unfortunately, parrot’s feather is a popular aquatic garden species and intentional planting has spread this species into natural water bodies. Generally, all parrot’s feather plants are female and because of this they do not produce seeds; this plant spreads via underground stems, and plant fragments can be dispersed with water, animals, boats, and fishing gear.
Once established, parrot’s feather is a difficult invasive to manage. Due to its submersed and emergent vegetation, herbicides are difficult to effectively implement. Prevention is key with the species; be PlantWise and please avoid using parrot’s feather in aquatic gardens or aquariums. Properly Clean, Drain, Dry your boat and fishing gear before leaving an infected site.