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Myriophyllum tuberculatum Red watermilfoil

  • Also known as “Myriophyllum mattogrossense Red”
  • Intense red colours
  • Fine-leaved
  • Loosely upright, bushy growth habit

The Red Watermilfoil combines red coloration with fine feather-like leaves. It was erroneously called Myriophyllum mattogrossense for a long time and even today it is often sold with the label M. mattogrossense ‘Red’. It differs much from the true, green M. mattogrossense from South America.

This milfoil from tropical Asia demands high light, CO2 and nutrient levels to unfold its full splendour. It becomes 20-60 cm tall and each stem 3-4 cm wide. This species is fast growing and must be trimmed often to keep a dense, compact growth. Cutted stems can be planted next to the group to obtain an ever denser group.

With its red to orange-red colour, a group of Myriophyllum tuberculatum in the midground of an aquarium is a real eyecatcher and contrasts effectively to green fine-textured plants.



Myriophyllum tuberculatum populates slow-flowing and stagnant waters in the Asian tropics. In Europe, this milfoil is readily available in trade, in the US, however, it is not very widely spread yet. Most shops and online shops there erroneously carry another, less spectacular reddish-brown Myriophyllum native to Florida under that name.

The red watermilfoil was (and sometimes still is) sold for around 20 years under the erroneuous names M. mattogrossense and M. pinnatum. However, in 1994 it was identified as M. tuberculatum by botanist A. E. Orchard – after true, green M. mattogrossense had been imported from Ecuador by Christel Kasselmann in 1990.

M. tuberculatum is rather difficult in cultivation. It needs intensive light with at least 0.8 watts per litre, and CO2 injection is indispensable. (read more)

Misapplied names Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Myriophyllum mattogrossense ”rot”
Complete botanical name Myriophýllum tuberculátum Roxb.
Family Haloragaceae
Genus Myriophyllum
Difficulty difficult
Usage Accent (red), Background, Midground, Street (Dutch style)
Aquascaping fine-leaved, very colourful plant for accents
Growth fast
pH value 5 – 7
Temperature tolerance 4 – 28°C
Carbonate hardness 0 – 8°dKH
General hardness 0 – 30°dGH
Propagation Cuttings
Can grow emersed? yes
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