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Carolina Mosquito Fern
Azolla caroliniana

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Water gardens and ponds.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Floating aquatic herbaceous fern.

Dimensions: N/A; a floating aquatic.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Widespread in the United States south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland; West Indies, southern Mexico, Central America and South America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Freshwater ponds and swamps.

Soils: A floating aquatic in standing or flowing water.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutirent poor water; it can become aggressive in nutrient-rich water.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade or moderate shade.

Flower Color: N/A.

Flower Characteristics: There are no flowers; the plants reproduce by spores.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous spores.

Comments: See a 2019 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on the relationship between barnyard grass and Carolina mosquito fern.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Azolla caroliniana available from:

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