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Parrots Feather - Invasive Species Information

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Reproduction: Parrot feather reproduces asexually. New plants grow from fragments of already rooted plants.

Parrots Feather is an aquatic perennial native to Central and South America and grows in emergent and submerged form.

Parrots Feather Leaves & Stem

Leaves & Stem

Both forms are similar in appearance. Most often found in nutrient rich waters.

Parrot feather gets its name from its feather-like leaves that are arranged around the stem in whorls of four to six. The emergent stems and leaves are the most distinctive trait of parrot feather, as they can grow up to a foot above the water surface and look almost like small fir trees.

How To Identify Parrots Feather?

Flower: Small pinkish-white

Leaves: Featherlike in appearance, bright blue-grey to green 

Stem: breaks easily, brown roots present around nodes  

Parrots Feather - Myriophyllum aquaticum ID Guide V4.gif
Parrots Feather Emerging Leave
Parrots Feather Leaf & Stem
Parrots Feather Invasive Stand

Parrots Feather Myriophyllum aquaticum ID Guide

Leaf & Stem

Emerging Leaves

Invasive Stand

Why Is Parrots Feather A Problem?

Parrots feather can seriously change the physical and chemical characteristics of lakes and streams. It grows abundantly, shades out naturally occurring algae, and clogs irrigation ducts and canals increasing the risk of flooding by blocking watercourses and drainage channels. 


Parrots feather typically exist in bundles and extend out of the water. In large numbers, the plants make a dense mat on the water's surface, shading the water from sunlight and causing native plants to die due to light deficiency.


Can rapidly dominate a water body displacing native species, causing organisms that feed on the native plants to die off.


Dense mats also cause problems for recreation, Swimmers and boat propellors can become entangled. The mats are also a breeding ground for mosquitos.

What Is Parrots Feather - (Myriophyllum aquaticum)?

Habitat: Aquatic, Still or slowly flowing water
Distribution in Ireland: Sparse distribution but locally abundant in some places.

Status: Established
Family name: Haloragaceae

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...


Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50.

  1. American Skunk-CabbageLysichiton americanus

  2. Brazilian Giant-RhubarbGunnera manicata

  3. Broad-Leaved RushJuncus planifolius

  4. Cape PondweedAponogeton distachyos

  5. Cord-GrassesSpartina (all species and hybrids)

  6. Curly Waterweed - Lagarosiphon major

  7. Dwarf Eel-GrassZostera japonica

  8. FanwortCabomba caroliniana

  9. Floating PennywortHydrocotyle ranunculoides

  10. Fringed Water-LilyNymphoides peltata

  11. Giant HogweedHeracleum mantegazzianum

  12. Giant KnotweedFallopia sachalinensis

  13. Giant-RhubarbGunnera tinctoria

  14. Giant SalviniaSalvinia molesta

  15. Himalayan BalsamImpatiens glandulifera

  16. Himalayan KnotweedPersicaria wallichii

  17. Hottentot-FigCarpobrotus edulis

  18. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica

  19. Large-Flowered WaterweedEgeria densa

  20. Mile-a-Minute WeedPersicaria perfoliata

  21. New Zealand PigmyweedCrassula helmsii

  22. Parrots FeatherMyriophyllum aquaticum

  23. Red AlgaGrateloupia doryphora

  24. RhododendronRhododendron ponticum

  25. SalmonberryRubus spectabilis

  26. Sea-Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides

  27. Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

  28. Three-Cornered LeekAllium triquetrum

  29. WakameUndaria pinnatifida

  30. Water ChestnutTrapa natans

  31. Water FernAzolla filiculoides

  32. Water LettucePistia stratiotes

  33. Water-PrimroseLudwigia (all species)

  34. WaterweedsElodea (all species)

  35. WireweedSargassum muticum

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