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Invasive Species: Parrot Feather

Parrot Feather

(Myriophyllum aquaticum - synonyms: Myriophyllum brasiliensis, Myriophyllum brasiliense, Myriophyllum proserpinacoides and Enydria aquatica). 

"Dwarf parrot feather" and "dwarf red parrot feather" are common names for a dwarf selection sold in trade. 

*Detected in Michigan*



Report this species to:

EGLE Aquatic Invasive Species Program

If possible, please take one or more photos of the invasive species you are reporting. Also make note of the location, date and time of the observation. This will aid in verification of your report. You may be asked to provide your name and contact information if follow-up is needed.

- Or -  Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -


  • Spikes of stiff, feathery leaves grow in whorls of 4-6.
  • Bright green upper stem emerges up to 1 foot above water.
  • Small, inconspicuous white flowers where leaves attach to the section of stem above water.
  • Stems and submerged leaves may be tinted reddish.
  • All U.S. plants are female and spread via fragmentation.

parrot feather
Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

parrot feather invasion
Parrot feather invasion. Photo courtesy of Graves Lovell, ADCNR, 

parrot feather upclose
Parrot feather up close. Photo courtesy of Graves Lovell, ADCNR. 

Habitat: Occurs in slow-moving fresh water habitats such as tributaries, canals, ponds, and lakes. It shows preference for high nutrient environments with plenty of light.

Native Range: South America

U.S. Distribution: Parrot feather can be found in at least 26 states, including those along the Eastern, Southern, and Western coasts.

Local Concern: This invasive milfoil plant threatens native aquatic species through competition. It will often form dense mats which provides habitat for mosquito larvae and can impede boats.


Parrot Feather Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF

MDARD Weed Risk Assessment for Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) - This document evaluates the invasive potential of the plant species using information based on establishment, spread and potential to cause harm.