Spiked Water-milfoil - Myriophyllum spicatum

Alternative names
Spiked Water Milfoil

Spiked Water-milfoil has slender stems up to 2.5 metres long. The submerged leaves, usually between 15 and 35 mm long, are borne in whorls of four, pinnate, with the numerous thread-like leaflets, 4 to13 mm long. It has minute, dull red flowers in spikes above the water surface, in summer.

Similar Species

Myriophyllum alterniflorum has been recorded in VC55, but is rare.  There are no recent records for M verticillatum 

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Leaves usually 4 in a whorl (may be 3 or 5).  The flowers are in whorls, and reddish.  M alterniflorum has flowers either opposite or alternate, and yellowish; the leaves usually have fewer segments

Recording advice

The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


A submerged aquatic plant of rivers, canals, lakes and ponds.

When to see it

Flowers in June and July.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Local in Leicestershire and Rutland, but can be abundant where it occurs. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 25 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current VC55 checklist (Jeeves 2011) it listed as occasional, but locally abundant

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map