Botanical Name: Myriophyllum spicatum
Species: M. spicatum
Common Names: Water Milfoil, Eurasian watermilfoil, Spiked water-milfoil
Habitat: Water Milfoil is native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa, but has a wide geographic and climatic distribution among some 57 countries, extending from northern Canada to South Africa. It is a submerged aquatic plant, grows in still or slow-moving water, and is considered to be a highly invasive species in lakes, ponds, ditches etc, to 450 metres. Locally common, especially in calcareous waters.
Water Milfoil has slender stems up to 250 centimetres (8.2 ft) long. The submerged leaves (usually between 15–35 mm long) are borne in pinnate whorls of four, with numerous thread-like leaflets roughly 4–13 mm long. Plants are monoecious with flowers produced in the leaf axils (male above, female below) on a spike 5–15 cm long held vertically above the water surface, each flower is inconspicuous, orange-red, 4–6 mm long. Eurasian water milfoil has 12- 21 pairs of leaflets while northern watermilfoil M. sibiricum only has 5–9 pairs. The two can hybridize and the resulting hybrid plants can cause taxonomic confusion as leaf characters are intermediate and can overlap with parent species.
Requires a sandy medium, rich in decaying organic matter, in full sun. Plants overwinter as resting buds at the bottom of the pond. Another report says that the plants do not form winter buds, but persist at the bottom of the pond. This species is considered to have the potential to be invasive when introduced into some areas such as Texas. A good water oxygenato.
Root is eaten – raw or cooked. Sweet and crunchy, the roots were a much relished food for several native North American Indian tribes
The plant is demulcent and febrifuge.
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