Parrot's-feather Myriophyllum aquaticum

Status Non-native, invasive
Best Time to See

Banned From Sale after April 2014. A non-native invasive plant.

This very popular pond plant produces long stems and floating mats of attractive feathery leaves. It is still available from many outlets, where it may be sold as Brazilian water-milfoil, Myriophyllum brasiliense or Myriophyllum proserpinacoides.


Aquatic habitats.

What's the problem?

It can root from small stem fragments and readily escapes into the wild, where its vigorous growth allows it to become dominant in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, ditches and canals. It grows to such an extent that it can choke water bodies and out-compete native vegetation, blocking light and altering patterns of flow. It is mainly sound in southern England but is spreading in the wild, possibly assisted by our warmer winters.

Rapid Risk Assessment

***** Critical Risk

Plantlife's position

Plantlife campaigned long and hard to have this species banned from sale. As of April 2014 it will be in England and Wales. This species is also listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales therefore, it is also an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow these species in the wild.

Removing parrot's feather

Regular cutting (at least every 6-9 weeks during the growing season - cut more frequently if necessary) will help to weaken the plant. In your garden pond you can thin using a rake. Cut material must be removed from the water as soon as possible and all fragments need to be removed to prevent regrowth (or spread downstream if you are clearing an area of river). Careful pulling out of stems by hand will help eradicate small colonies and after cutting.