E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Myriophyllum sibiricum Kom.
Siberian water-milfoil (shortspike watermilfoil)
Haloragaceae (Water Milfoil family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #84099)

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Distribution of Myriophyllum sibiricum
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According to Ceska and Ceska (2010), this species is "Native to North America, northern Europe and eastern Asia, widespread in North America (except Texas and SE states). Stem whitish, leaves with smaller number of "untidy" segments. Winter buds frequent, cylindrical."

Species Information

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Perennial aquatic from a short rhizome, stems 10-150 cm long, simple or forked, purplish, becoming white when dry.
In whorls of 3 or 4 mostly 1 cm or more apart, those of the middle whorls usually 3 cm long or more, simply pinnate with 11 or fewer segments; segments commonly more than 1.5 cm long, rather widely and irregularly spaced about 2-4 mm apart; winter buds well developed, 1-4 cm long, oval in outline, broadest in the middle.
Spikes almost naked, emergent, erect, to about 15 cm long; flowers in whorls, the lowermost female, the upper ones male, bright pink-red; the bract leaves shorter than flowers and fruits; petals oblong, concave, about 2.5 mm long; stamens 8.
Mericarps, 4, nearly round, 2-3 mm long, rounded on the back, glabrous or slightly wrinkled.
In Hitchcock et al. (1961) plants of these species would key out as "Myriophyllum spicatum var. spicatum."

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Lakes, ponds and sloughs in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, E to NF, and S to CA; Eurasian.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Myriophyllum exalbescens Fernald
Myriophyllum exalbescens var. magdalenense (Fern.) A. L÷ve
Myriophyllum magdalenense Fern.
Myriophyllum spicatum subsp. exalbescens (Fernald) HultΘn
Myriophyllum spicatum subsp. squamosum Laest. ex Hartm.
Myriophyllum spicatum var. capillaceum Lange
Myriophyllum spicatum var. exalbescens (Fernald) Jeps.
Myriophyllum spicatum var. squamosum (Laestad. ex Hartman) Hartman

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Ceska, Oldriska and Adolf Ceska. 2010. Genus Myriophyllum (Haloragaceae) in the Pacific Northwest. Botanical Electronic News #428. Available online.

General References