The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
Invasive Species: Eurasian Watermilfoil
*Established in Michigan*
Report this species:
Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool
- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone - MISIN.MSU.edu/tools/apps/#home
- Emergent, herbaceous aquatic plant.
- Stems are whitish-pink to reddish-brown.
- Leaves are greyish-green with finely divided pairs of leaflets that are ½-2 inches long, giving the plant a feathery appearance.
- Leaves arranged in whorls of 3-6.
- Yellow or reddish flower with 4 parts on a projected spike sitting 2-4 inches above water.
- Usually 3-10 feet tall with a maximum of 33 feet.
Photo courtesy of Allison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org.
Photo courtesy of Graves Lovell, Alabama DCNR, Bugwood.org.
Habitat: Eurasian watermilfoil inhabits water bodies ranging from fresh to brackish. Areas that have been disturbed are prime habitats for this species. Eurasian watermilfoil is very resistant and can overwinter in frozen lakes and ponds in the northern U.S. or survive over-heated bays in southern states.
Native Range: Europe, Asia and North Africa.
U.S. Distribution: Eurasian watermilfoil has been introduced to 45 states. Hawaii, Kansas, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada have not reported introduction.
Local Concern: Eurasian watermilfoil forms large mats of floating vegetation that will shade-out native aquatic plants and impede recreational activities. This species is not a valuable food source of waterfowl and may interfere with fish predation. Thick vegetation like this can also clog residential or industrial water intakes.
Status and Strategy for Eurasian Watermilfoil Management This document provides in-depth information about Eurasian watermilfoil in Michigan including identification, distribution, management and control options.
MDARD Weed Risk Assessment for Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) - This document evaluates the invasive potential of the plant species using information based on establishment, spread and potential to cause harm.