Myriophyllum alterniflorum DC.

alternate-flowered water-milfoil

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Alternate-flowered water-milfoil has a circumboreal distribution, and in North America is found mainly in Canada and some northeastern states. In New England it can be found in all states but is most common in Maine, in still or slow-moving water of lakes and rivers. It is rare and protected in the southern New England states.

Habitat

Lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), riverine (in rivers or streams)

Characteristics

Habitat
aquatic
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf position
the leaves are all submerged underwater
Leaf arrangement
whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade length
3–22 mm
Petal or sepal number
there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Petal color
  • red
  • yellow
Specific leaf type
the leaf is pinnately compound (i.e., it has three or leaflets distributed along a central axis
Floating leaf shape
NA
Underwater leaf blade width
3–14 mm
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Underwater leaf length
3–12 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Turion length
    0 mm
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    2 mm
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Flower lower lip length
    0 mm
    Flower position
    the flowers are above the surface of the water
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Inflorescence length
    20–50 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Length of flower stalk
    0 mm
    Length of peduncle
    0 mm
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    4
    Ovary position
    the sepals and/or petals are attached above the ovary
    Palate on corolla
    no
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal color
    • red
    • yellow
    Petal length
    2–2.5 mm
    Petal number
    0–4
    Petal or sepal number
    there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Pistil number
    1
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble leaves in color and texture
    Sepal length
    0.3–1 mm
    Sepal number
    4
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are fused to each other (not other flower parts), at least near their bases
    Spur length
    0 mm
    Stamen length
    1.2–2 mm
    Stamen number
    8
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused to petals
    the stamens are not fused to the petals or tepals
    Style length
    0 mm
    Style number
    0
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit length
    1.5–2 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a schizocarp (when dry it splits into sections, each holding one or more seeds)
  • Glands or sap
    Oil glands on nodes
    none of the nodes have oil glands
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Root septa
    the roots do not have transverse septa
    Roots floating in water
    there are no clusters of roots floating in the water
    Turions
    there are no turions on the plant
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Bract relative length
    At least 1379 mm
    Bracts
    the flowers or their pedicels have bracts at their bases
    Floating leaf basal lobes
    NA
    Floating leaf blade width
    0 mm
    Floating leaf length
    0 mm
    Floating leaf shape
    NA
    Floating leaf tip
    NA
    Floral bract form
    the bracts are much more lobed, or much less lobed, than the foliage leaves
    Floral bract length
    1–2 mm
    Leaf arrangement
    whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade length
    3–22 mm
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins radiate from the base and continue to spread away from the centerline of the leaf, or branch off the central vein at intervals
    Leaf blade width
    3–14 mm
    Leaf position
    the leaves are all submerged underwater
    Leaf special features
    none of the mentioned special features are present
    Leaf-like branch segments
    6–18
    Leaf-like branch shape
    the leaf-like branches are round
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf is pinnately compound (i.e., it has three or leaflets distributed along a central axis
    Staminate bract edge (Myriophyllum)
    • the edges of the staminate bracts are either smooth and without teeth, or with tiny, outward-pointing teeth
    • the edges of the staminate bracts have either forward-pointing teeth, or are pinnately lobed (with lobes projecting from both sides of the central axis of the leaf)
    Stipule appearance
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Stipules fused around stem
    NA
    Trap-bladder length
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf blade edges
    the underwater leaf blades are lobed
    Underwater leaf blade shape
    the underwater leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    Underwater leaf blade width
    3–14 mm
    Underwater leaf length
    3–12 mm
    Underwater leaf stalk
    yes
    Underwater leaf stalk length
    0–2 mm
    Veins in floating leaf
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    aquatic
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • in lakes or ponds
    • in rivers or streams
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is upright

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present, invasive, prohibited
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
New Hampshire
unrankable (S-rank: SU), Ind (code: Ind)
Rhode Island
historical (S-rank: SH), state historical (code: SH)
Vermont
rare to uncommon (S-rank: S2S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Myriophyllum sibiricum

Synonyms

  • Myriophyllum alterniflorum DC. var. americanum Pugsley

Family

Haloragaceae

Genus

Myriophyllum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Myriophyllum alterniflorum DC. N

alternate-flowered water-milfoil. Myriophyllum alterniflorum DC. var. americanum Pugsley 
• CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; generally rare outside of ME. Still or slow-moving, circumneutral to basic water of lakes and rivers.