Feathered mosquitofern

Quick Facts


Scientific name Azolla pinnata
Origin Australia, Southeast Asia, East Africa
Introduction Mid-2000s, aquatic garden trade
Aquatic community Floating
Habitat Quiescent waters
Distribution Peninsular Florida, many South FL canals
Management effort Eradication in public lakes
Eradication/contain in canal systems
2017 public waters / plant acres 2 / 1
2017 Waters / acres controlled 9 / 464
Nymphoides aquaticaAzolla pinnata

Azolla pinnata line drawing

Management Options

Biological Unknown if triploid grass carp will control
Chemical Diquat, flumioxazin
Mechanical Impractical due to tiny plant size
Physical Drawdowns impractical – can survive dry periods

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Surface of small, still ponds or backwaters, ditches or canals without wave action
  • Abundant in water with high nutrient levels, such as retention ponds, cattle paddocks and farm ponds
  • Forms dense mats, interfering with boating, fishing and swimming
    • blocks sunlight from reaching submersed plants
    • reduces oxygen levels by blocking the interface between the water surface and the atmosphere
  • Reproduces and spreads rapidly by vegetative growth and via spores
  • Can survive on moist soil in and around rivers, ditches, and ponds, allowing it to endure dry periods

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.