Eurasian watermilfoil

Photo Credit: Rob Routledge, Sault College,

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an aquatic invasive perennial plant that originated from Europe and Asia. This submerged plant resembles similar native watermilfoils, but can be distinguished by the blunt, snipped-off appearance of its leaf tips. The Eurasian watermilfoil typically has four feathery leaves whorled around its stem. Each feathery leaf has 12 to 24 pairs of leaflets, which is a characteristic that sets it apart from native milfoils which have fewer leaflet pairs.

Eurasian watermilfoil forms dense mats that degrade habitat and reduce recreational access. Even small fragments of the plant that are transported to other waterbodies by boats, fishing gear, or on clothing and shoes can start new plants and new populations. It is extremely important to recognize this invasive plant, and to make sure you clean, drain, and dry your recreational equipment and clothing so that you do not spread this aggressive invasive.

You Can Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants. Always Clean, Drain, and Dry Your Boat, Paddle Gear, and Footwear.

● Clean all plant stems and fragments and mud from boats and trailers before leaving your lake or river and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
● Empty all water from your gear well before moving to a new body of water.
● Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water.
● Clean out waders and wading boots before moving to a new body of water.
● Dry your boat and gear thoroughly between waterbodies by towel drying or drying in the sun for at least 5 days.

Report Eurasian Water Milfoil with or contact the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP). You can help ADK  survey ponds and lakes for aquatic invasive species such as Yellow Floating Heart, European frog-bit, European Water Chestnut, and Curly Leaf Pond Weed. For more information on the Backcountry Water Monitors Project and upcoming workshops and outings visit

Sources and Field Guide Pages for Download