Home Flora of Missouri
Home
Name Search
Families
Volumes
Myriophyllum L. Search in The Plant ListSearch in IPNISearch in Australian Plant Name IndexSearch in Index Nominum Genericorum (ING)Search in NYBG Virtual HerbariumSearch in JSTOR Plant ScienceSearch in SEINetSearch in African Plants Database at Geneva Botanical GardenAfrican Plants, Senckenberg Photo GallerySearch in Flora do Brasil 2020Search in Reflora - Virtual HerbariumSearch in Living Collections Decrease font Increase font Restore font
 

Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 992. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library
 

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/18/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
 

Export To PDF Export To Word

1. Myriophyllum L. (water-milfoil) (Aiken, 1981)

Plants mostly monoecious (dioecious in M. aquaticum), all or mostly submerged aquatics (occasionally stranded on muddy shores), often only the flowering portion emergent. Stem length dependent on depth of water, variously 5 cm to more than 3 m. Leaves whorled, or sometimes a few of them on a given plant opposite or alternate, the submerged ones pinnately dissected into threadlike segments; grading abruptly into reduced, emergent, bracteal leaves subtending the flowers (except in M. aquaticum, with flowers in the axils of unreduced leaves). Inflorescences emergent spikes or appearing as axillary clusters. Flowers in a given inflorescence often of 3 types, the lowermost pistillate, a few median ones perfect, and the upper ones staminate. Sepals 4, often shed early, minute, triangular. Petals 4 (lacking in pistillate flowers), inconspicuous but longer than the sepals, membranous and shed early, translucent, white, or pinkish-, reddish-, or purplish-tinged. Stamens 4 or 8. Ovary with 4 locules. Stigmas 4. Fruits 4-lobed, variously sculptured, eventually splitting into four nutlets.

Certain species of water-milfoil have been used in native American medicine, alone and in combination with other plants as a blood medicine (to improve circulation), and as an emetic. Also, the rhizomes, eaten raw, fried, or roasted are said to be sweet and crunchy and were a much relished food (Moerman, 1998).

Apparent instances of hybridization between species of Myriophyllum, notably M. heterophyllum × M. pinnatum and M. sibiricum × M. spicatum, have been detected from portions of New England and the upper Midwest (Moody and Les, 2002). These morphologically intermediate plants, if found in Missouri, might confound species determinations using the key below.

 
 
© 2018 Missouri Botanical Garden - 4344 Shaw Boulevard - Saint Louis, Missouri 63110