) is a genus of about 45 species of freshwater
, with a cosmopolitan distribution
name comes from Latin, "myrio" meaning "too many to count", and
"phyllum", meaning "leaf".
These submersed aquatic plants have whorled leaves
that are finely, pinnately
divided. The leaves above the water are
stiffer and smaller than the submerged leaves on the same plant.
are small with four petals and
are borne in the leaf axils or in a terminal, emergent spike.
Waterfowl eat the fruits and leaves and muskrats eat the entire
It has a long soft but fairly brittle stem. The leaves of the plant
only present near surface of the water, while flowers are formed
above the surface of the pond.
Various species of water milfoil have become naturalized in water
bodies of nearly every state in the continental U.S.
This plant may be a hidden resource, eventually seen as a valuable
cellulose feed stock in a biofuel
are seen by many as
growing trends in green fuels (including jet fuel).
A common species, Eurasian water
, is often controlled with herbicide
containing the chemical diquat dibromide
. Control can also be done
through careful mechanical management but caution must be used
since this is a fragmenting plant, and the fragments may grow back.
Milfoil is an invasive aquatic plant species from Asia.
Mechanical management can include the use of a long reach lake rake
or aquatic weed razor blade tool. Using these tools would be
similar to lawn work. These tools are most effective before seeds
set. Another very effective use is to keep the plants from ever
starting to grow through the use of a Weed Roller or a Beach
Groomer. These are considered to be automated and unattended
machines. Permits may be required by various states. A guide to
state permits and aquatic vegetation management can be found at
Professor Sallie Sheldon of Middlebury College has found that an aquatic weevil (Euhrychiopsis lecontei), which
eats nothing but milfoil, may be the most effective weapon against