Invasive Vegetation Management & Treatment Limited


Parrot’s feather

Name: Parrot's Feather

Latin name: Myriophyllum aquaticum

Occurrence: Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) was first found in Britain in 1960 and has now spread to about 150 sites.  The species is widely grown in garden ponds, and is not usually deliberately introduced to the wild.  However fragments can be concealed in the soil of other pot plants sold at aquatic garden centres and it will quickly spread and colonise new sites.

 Parrots Feather









Facts and figures:

Native range: Lowland central South America.

Only female plants are established in the UK and it therefore spreads by vegetative means only.  It grows in ponds, reservoirs, gravel pits, streams, canals and ditches, particularly where eutrophic water occurs.  It can grow as a terrestrial plant when a pond dries out.

  Stem: Fleshy and brittle.

  Leaves:  Feathery in appearance.

              Bright green in colour.

              Arranged in whorls around the stem.

              Produces emergent shoots as well as submerged ones.

  Flowers: None.

Persistence and Spread: Growth is vegetative, plant propagates from stem fragments.

Management: Chemical control can be achieved by applying by applying herbicides in spring to shallow water and areas of damp ground.  Glyphosate can be used, but is less effective than other herbicides  Regular annual treatment is necessary and at least two applications per year.  Spot treatment of small patches will prevent complete dominance. Treat regularly and early.

Cut material must be removed from the water as soon as possible and all fragments need to be removed to prevent regrowth and spreading downstream.   Material should be cut as often as necessary and at least every 6 – 9 weeks from March to October to weaken the plant.

Dredging  will remove the plant very effectively from shallow areas, whilst careful pulling out of stems by hand after mechanical removal will help eradicate it.

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