Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Images courtesy Glenn Miller
Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
EDRR Species?: 
No

Other common names
Brazilian water milfoil

Description
An attractive aquatic plant with feathery lime-green leaves arranged in whorls on long stems (rhizomes). Flowers are small and white. The submersed leaves are limp and often appear to be decaying, but the stems are very robust. The surface parts of the plants are the most distinctive trait, as they can grow up to a foot above the water and look almost like small fir trees. Parrot feather is found in freshwater lakes, ponds, streams, and canals, and appears to be adapted to high-nutrient environments. It tends to colonize slowly moving or still water rather than areas with higher flow rates. The emergent stems can survive on wet banks of rivers and lakeshores, so it is well adapted to moderate water-level fluctuations. 

Impacts
The main impacts of the plant result from the dense mats it forms on the surface of water. Heavily infested waters face reductions in native plant diversity and community structure, reduction in recreational use, loss of fish production, and alterations of water chemistry resulting from high levels of decaying vegetation. Irrigation canal systems in California experience flow restrictions and increased maintenance costs due to plant removal efforts. Mosquito populations are documented to increase significantly in infested waters.