This emergent perennial aquatic plant is native to the Amazon River and is a member of the water milfoil family, Haloragaceae. The plants  have wood stems that grow over 5′ long that can grow up to a foot above the water’s surface.  The feather-like blue-green to gray-green  leaves are deeply cut and arranged in whorls of 4-6.  In spring tiny male and female pinkish white flowers are carried  above the water on stems of the same plant but only female flowers are found on plants growing outside of South America.  As a result, no seeds are formed on North American plants and reproduction is entirely asexual by fragmentation.  Parrot feather is a very attractive plant and resembles a fir tree when it emerges from the water.  It fragments easily, has become very wide spread in the US, and is considered an invasive plant and noxious weed in some areas, especially in the South where it can be found in slow moving fresh water ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and canals as well as water gardens.  Plants prefer full sun and water with a high nutrient content.  The genus name, Myriophyllum, comes from the Greek words, myrios, meaning many, and phyllon, meaning leaf, and refers to the highly divided leaves.  The specific epithet, aquaticum, comes from the Latin word aqua meaning water, and refers to the plant’s natural habitat.  Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons

Type: Emergent aquatic perennial

Bloom: Tiny pinkish-white male and female flowers on the same plant (only female flowers in US), in summer

Size: 5+’ length

Light: Full sun

Soil: Slow moving, high nutrient content fresh water

Hardiness: Zones 6-10

Care: Control spread.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Fragmentation, division

Companion Plants: Cattail, elephant ear, lizard’s tail

Outstanding Selections: None

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen