Invasive Plants of Wisconsin

Myriophyllum spicatum L.
Eurasian water-milfoil
Family: Haloragaceae
leaves leaves plant plant
stem with leaves leaf stem with leaves in water plants in water

Eurasian water milfoil is a submersed aquatic plant. The leaves are similar to a feather in form, with narrow segments (leaflets) arising from both sides of a central rachis (axis). The leaves are arranged in whorls around the stem (see "stem with leaves" above). Eurasian water milfoil is very similar to our native common water-milfoil (Myriophyllum exalbescens). The most reliable way to tell them apart is to count the leaflets on the feather-like compound leaves. Well developed leaves of European water milfoil generally have 14 or more leaflets on each side and common milfoil has 11 or fewer leaflets on each side.

There are other species of Myriophyllum with similar form and species cannot be distinguished with certainty unless flowers are present, unless you are familiar with all the species. You cannot safely identify the species of Myriophyllum by comparing a specimen to photographs. The keys and text in Voss, 1984. Michigan Flora Vol. II are recommended.


known Wisconsin distribution


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