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

Myriophyllum quitense Kunth
waterwort water-milfoil (Andean watermilfoil)
Haloragaceae (Water Milfoil family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Myriophyllum quitense
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According to Ceska and Ceska (2010), Andean watermilfoil is a "South American species that extends to western USA and to British Columbia; also in eastern Canada. It occurs in wind-swept parts of large lakes or in flowing water of rivers. Dried herbarium specimens are dark grey. The lowermost leaves are reduced to bract-like structures and the system of strong whitish roots are the best identification characters of the sterile plants. Winter buds absent."

Species Information

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Perennial aquatic from a rhizome; stems 20-100 cm long, simple or branched.
In whorls of 4 or 5, 1-2.5 cm long, comb-like and dissected into 13-21 threadlike segments, very gradually transitional to the bracts; bracts conspicuous, oblong triangular, 7-10 mm long and from comb-like to lightly sharp-toothed; winter buds absent.
Inflorescence simple to conspicuously forked, submersed to emergent; flowers subtended by small, whitish, erose to comb-like bracteoles 1-2 mm long; sepals whitish, more or less sharp-toothed to comb-like; petals soon deciduous, about 2.5 mm long; stamens 8, the anthers about 2 mm long; stigmas feather-like.
Mericarps 4, about 2 mm long, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Large lakes and rivers in the lowland zone; rare on Vancouver Island; E to PE and S to WA, ID, OR, AZ and MX; S America.

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 elatinoides Gaudich.

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