Parrot-feather is native of the Amazon River basin in South America, including Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, as well as Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. It was introduced to the Washington, DC area during the 1890s, and is in at least 26 states throughout the United States. Commonly it is sold for aquaria and aquatic gardens; it has escaped to become invasive in ponds and other calm water bodies.
Was first observed in Oklahoma in 1952 in Clayton Lake and has since been found in Carton and Sportsman Lake.
Parrot feather threatens native aquatic species through competition. It will often form dense mats which provides habitat for mosquito larvae and can impede boats. Only female plants are known to grow in the US, which means they can spread by plant fragments that are on boats, trailers, and gear.
- Has both emergent and submersed leaf forms
- Emergent- whorled, stiff, 10 leaflet pairs, appear feather-like and bright-green to blue-green in color
- Submersed- whorls of 4 to 6 filamentous leaves, reddish orange in color
- Small white flowers on emergent shoots
- Steams can grow up to 6 feet