Parrot Feather scientific name is Myriophyllum aquaticum. This is a very popular plant among consumers. This plant can be grown submerged or on the surface.
It does have an invasive growth habit, and has become difficult to control in some areas.
It has beautiful feathery leaves and older specimens have woody red stems. It may be ever-green in warmer climates.
It is native to the Amazon River in South America, however it can be found worldwide now. It is thought that this plant was introduced to North America around the 1800’s.
It prefers a warmer climate, it is chiefly found in southern parts of the U.S. They are a fresh water plant and it can be found in lakes, ponds, and streams.
Parrot feather is present at all seasons of the year.
As the water warms in the spring, they begin to flourish. Most plants flower in the spring; however, some also flower in the fall. Flowers of this plant are very small and white in color.
Almost all plants of this species are female, in fact there are no male plants found outside of South America. Seeds are not produced in any North American plants. Parrot feather reproduces asexually. New plants grow from fragments of already rooted plants.
They are now used for indoor and outdoor pond water garden use. It is a very popular plant in aquatic gardens. Unfortunately, in outdoor ponds, lakes, or streams, where this plant has taken root some problems can occur due to its presence.
There is no real predator to the Parrot feather plant, so it tends to grow out of control in some areas. The plant tends to be a little hard or tough for most water grazes to eat.
Some problems created by this plant due to its overgrowth are, the killing off of algae, mosquito larva habitat, problems in irrigation and drainage, and restriction of water recreational activities.
Aquatic Herbicides have been found very useful in controlling its growth, and cutting it only tends to make it spread and grow more. In some U.S. states it is declared a noxious weed and is therefore banned from sale.
This rhizomenous perennial exhibits an annual pattern of growth. In the spring, shoots begin to grow rapidly from overwintering rhizomes as water temperatures increase. Rhizomes function as a support structure for adventitious roots and provide buoyancy for emergent growth during the summer. Emergent stems and leaves extend from a few inches to over one foot above the waters surface. Underwater leaves tend to surface as the season advances. Plants usually flower in the spring but some plants may also flower in the fall. The inconspicuous flowers form where the emergent leaves attach to the stem. In fall parrotfeather typically dies back to the rhizomes.
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Resources: Dept. of Ecology in the State of Washington
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