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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Azolla pinnata
  • Origin: Australia, Southeast Asia, East Africa
  • Introduction:Mid-2000s, aquatic garden trade
  • Aquatic community: Floating
  • Habitat: Quiescent waters
  • Distribution: Peninsular Florida, many South FL canals
  • Management effort: Eradication in public lakes Eradication/contain in canal systems
  • 2017 public waters / plant acres: 2 / 1
  • 2017 Waters / acres controlled: 9 / 464

Feathered MosquitofernFeathered Mosquitofern


Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Surface of small, still ponds or backwaters, ditches or canals without wave action
  • Abundant in water with high nutrient levels, such as retention ponds, cattle paddocks and farm ponds
  • Forms dense mats, interfering with boating, fishing and swimming
    • blocks sunlight from reaching submersed plants
    • reduces oxygen levels by blocking the interface between the water surface and the atmosphere
  • Reproduces and spreads rapidly by vegetative growth and via spores
  • Can survive on moist soil in and around rivers, ditches, and ponds, allowing it to endure dry periods

Management Options

  • Biological: Unknown if triploid grass carp will control
  • Chemical: Diquat, flumioxazin
  • Mechanical: Impractical due to tiny plant size
  • Physical: Drawdowns impractical – can survive dry periods

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.