Myriophyllum spicatum

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Authors: Karan Rawlins, Hillery Reeves and Kaylee Tillery at the Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia

Contents


5400617
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Haloragales
Family: Haloragaceae
Genus: Myriophyllum
Species: spicatum
Scientific Name
Myriophyllum spicatum
L.
Common Names

Eurasian water-milfoil, spiked watermilfoil

Overview

Appearance
Myriophyllum spicatum is a submersed aquatic plant that invades lakes, ponds, and other aquatic environments throughout the United States. The plants are rooted and the stems grow up to the water surface, usually reaching 3-10 ft. (0.9-3 m) in length and can be as much as 30 ft. (9.1 m) long.
Foliage
Leaves are bright green, finely dissected, and whorled. The delicate leaflets give this plant a feathery appearance.
Flowers
Myriophyllum spicatum has both male and female flowers on the same inflorescence. The female flowers are basal while the male flowers are located distally. The female flowers have a 4-lobed pistil and lack sepals and petals. The male flowers have 4 pink petals and 8 stamens.
Fruit
The very small globular fruit of Myriophyllum spicatum are indehiscent, and contain 4 seeds.
Ecological Threat
Myriophyllum spicatum requires stagnant to slowly moving water and can tolerate brackish conditions. It forms dense mats of leaves restricting light availability, leading to a decline in the diversity and abundance of native macrophytes. In addition, Myriophyllum spicatum displaces the native species of watermilfoil and reduces habitats for fish spawning and feeding. It is native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.

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