Parrot's Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum): Recognising Parrot's Feather
  • Parrots Feather is a floating water plant with a tough rhizome and feather-like leaves arranged around the stem.
  • It is found in freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and canals, particularly where nutrient levels are high.
  • It grows best when rooted in shallow water but also occurs as a floating plant in deeper water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parrot's Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum): From introduction to invasion:
  • Parrots Feather comes from South America and was brought to South Africa as an aquarium and fish pond plant.
  • It is an aggressive invader, especially in water bodies with high levels of nutrients.
  • Male and female plants are separate. Outside of South America only female plants exist, so only vegetative reproduction occurs.
  • Parrots Feather spreads when pieces of the tough rhizome break off, take root and grow.
  • Very few animals eat Parrots Feather because it contains high levels of unpleasant-tasting tannin.
  • The impacts of Parrots Feather are similar to those of Water Hyacinth.

 

 

 

 

 

Parrot's Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum): Controlling Parrot's Feather
 
  • To control Parrots Feather it is important to reduce nutrients entering water courses, as well as to remove the invasive weeds.
  • It is not a good idea to use harvesting methods that cut up the plants, as small pieces of rhizome will grow and spread.
  • It is difficult to use herbicide to control Parrots Feather. The stems and leaves have a thick waxy cuticle that resists the herbicide.
  • A beetle (Lysathia sp.) has been released as the biological control agent to control populations of Parrots Feather in South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parrots Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Terrestrial plants:      Aquatic plants Terrestrial animals: Aquatic animals
Kikuyu Grass Water Hyacinth Argentine Ant Largemouth Black Bass
Port Jackson Willow Parrot's Feather European Starling Common Carp
Rooikrans Spanish Reed Feral Cat European Mallard