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  • Writer's pictureDon Yurewicz

Variable Milfoil - Exotic

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Variable Milfoil is present in 75 locations in NH including Ossipee, Squam and Winnipesaukee lakes. We should be hyper-vigilant to the possible introduction of this plant to Conway Lake.

Variable Milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) has a very stiff and thick stem and is more robust than the other milfoil species. The leaves are in whorls of 4 to 6 and can grow up to 2 inches long. Leaves on upper stem are whorled, and may be whorled or alternate on lower stem. Variable water-milfoil can grow to 15 feet in length. In July, flowers emerge from the water and are in a spike up to 6 inches tall with distinctive oval-shaped, toothed bracts. Can also form a succulent amphibious form when water levels recede. (Excerpted from Aquatic Plants & Algae of New Hampshire’s Lakes and Ponds).

Photo from "Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants"

Invasive milfoil collected by diver Cliff Cabral

Invasive milfoil collected by diver Cliff Cabral

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Conway Lake is currently free of invasive (aka "exotic") species. The posts below include descriptions of invasive plants and animals we need to watch for when we patrol on Conway Lake. New Hampshire


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