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Eurasian Watermilfoil

Eurasian watermilfoil. Photo by Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org

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Common Name: Eurasian watermilfoil
Scientific Name: Myriophyllum spicatum
Origin: Europe, Asia


Eurasian watermilfoil is a submerged perennial that looks like many native aquatic plants, including native milfoil species. Eurasian watermilfoil usually has four feathery leaves whorled around the stem. Each leaf is finely divided, has greater than nine leaflets, and leaf tips are flat. The plant can reach lengths of 20 feet and branches near the surface. Tiny pink flowers may occur on an emergent spike during late summer.


This plant grows in a variety of depths, sediment types, and flowing conditions.


Plant fragments, which break off easily, can be transported from lake to lake on boat trailers or fishing gear. These fragments can start new populations, which form dense mats that degrade habitat and reduce recreational access.


Once milfoil becomes well-established within a waterway, it is very difficult to remove. A variety of control methods used nationwide to manage milfoil infestations include physical, mechanical, biological, and chemical techniques.

Distribution: View Map


This species is prolific in the Finger Lakes region.

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