Myriophyllum variifolium Hook.f.

Varied Water-milfoil

Icon. Pl. 3: t. 289 (1840), as M. variaefolium APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Perennial aquatic herb; stems 30–50 cm long, to 5 mm diam., rooting at nodes in shallow water. Leaves dimorphic; submerged leaves in whorls of 4 or 5, orbicular, mostly 11–20 mm long, pectinate, with 9–15 well-spaced pinnae; emergent leaves in whorls of 5, linear to terete, mostly 8–15 mm long, margins entire or lowermost 3 or 4 denticulate. Bracteoles of male flowers ovate, c. 1.2 mm long; bracteoles of female flowers smaller; flowers solitary, sessile. Male flowers: sepals 4, orbicular to oblong, 0.6–0.8 mm long; petals 4, 2.5–3.5 mm long, yellow to reddish, caducous; stamens 8. Female flowers: sepals and petals absent; ovary 4-celled, styles sessile, stigmas white, fimbriate. Fruit cylindric, yellow-brown to pale reddish; mericarps cylindric, 1.4–1.5 mm long, truncate, smooth or minutely and sparsely papillose. Flowers Oct.–Mar.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, OtR, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Found in eastern and south-western Victoria where it grows in still or slow-flowing water.

Only reliably distinguished from Myriophyllum simulans by the shape, size and colour of the mature fruits. The two species intergrade in south-western Victoria and South Australia.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Haloragaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-08-16
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder [Saxifraganae]
order Saxifragales
family Haloragaceae
genus Myriophyllum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Myriophyllum variifolium in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Myriophyllum variifolium in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory