Common name: Cat-tail, Coarse Water-milfoil
Myriophyllum caput-medusae Orchard APNI*
Description: Perennial aquatic herb; usually stems 3–4 mm diam., rooting at the base, emergent parts much-branched.
Submerged leaves whorled; emergent leaves in whorls of 3–5 at the base, becoming alternate towards the apex, oblong to ovate, mostly 6–10 mm long, up to 3 mm wide, entire, glaucous, ± red-tipped.
Plants monoecious; male and female flowers on the same shoot, solitary in the axils. Male flowers sessile; sepals triangular; petals c. 2.5 mm long, yellow to reddish. Female flowers sessile; sepals absent; petals vestigial; stigmas reddish. Mericarps cylindrical, c. 1.5 mm long, olive-brown, rounded and densely spinose.
Distribution and occurrence: in lakes and backwaters of slowly moving watercourses.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, CT, ST, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Vic. S.A.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: A.E. Orchard (1990)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.