Beauty or beast?

April 13th. Woodwell

Clear water, reflections and unusual colours. BEWARE! The plant growing in this trough in Woodwell (Silverdale), previously used as a water supply for the village, is most likely Parrot's feather (also sold as Brazilian water-milfoil or as 'oxygenator'). Parrot’s feather is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with respect to England, Wales and Scotland. As such, it is an offence to plant or otherwise allow this species to grow in the wild.

It is found in still and slow-flowing water and can be submerged or emerging from the surface of water. It persists throughout the winter and can be found growing on land when ponds dry out. It is usually bought as an oxygenating plant and to provide cover and food for fish. It can rapidly dominate a water body, creating a thick raft of vegetation which can displace native species. It can contribute to localised flooding by blocking watercourses and drainage channels. Parrot's feather is distinctive because of its blue-green colour, feather-like leaves and emergent stems.


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