Parrot's Feather

What is parrot's feather?

(Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Parrots feather, photo: Kiowa FennerGeneric Weed Distribution Map
  • Parrot's feather is a weed of freshwater ponds, dams and waterways.
  • Parrot's feather is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of parrot's feather are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify parrot's feather

  • Parrot's feather is a perennial (long-lived) freshwater herb with yellow-green stems reaching 5 m in length. The leaves are feathery in appearance and occur in whorls, becoming more densely packed towards the end of the stems. The flowers are small, white and unisexual; all plants in Australia have only female flowers.
  • Parrot's feather roots on the muddy bottom as well as on adjacent saturated mud and gravels, extending from the bank or rising up through the water to form a dense mass of tangled stems.
  • Rapid growth occurs in summer, slowing in winter and recommencing the following spring. Once fully established, an infestation does not grow greatly in extent, with the new growth replacing the previous year's stems which die off.
Parrots featherParrots feather stem, photo: Stephen WelshParrots feather
Image top: Close-up of Parrot's feather, photo: Kiowa Fenner
Image above (l - r): Parrots feather infestation; stem of parrot's feather, photo: Stephen Welsh; Parrot's feather

Parrot's feather in Tasmania

  • Parrot's feather is recorded as an occasional weed of ponds, dams, drainage ditches and streams in Tasmania. Localised infestations occur in the north and north-west and around Bellerive in the south (see map). Aquarium occurrences also occur.
  • Parrot's feather forms dense mats that impede water flow and limit recreational activities, while the floating mats which often break off from an infestation can block hydroelectric intakes and irrigation pumps, and small streams causing flooding.

What is the legal status of parrot's feather in your area?

Detailed management and control guidelines for parrot's feather can be found in the Parrot's Feather Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Parrot's Feather Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also
Parrot's Feather Control Guide
Herbicides for Parrot's Feather Control
Statutory Management Plan for Parrot's Feather
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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