OATA is launching a new plant ID guide during Invasive Species Week 2022 to help aquatic businesses ensure they are selling the right types of Milfoil (Myriophyllum) species.

OATA has been alerted by regulators to a rising number of illegal imports of the two Myriophyllum species that are illegal to sell in the UK.

The new guide has been created with help from aquatic plant experts to enable businesses to spot the right Milfoil species and distinguish them from the species they should not be selling.

Myriophyllum aquaticum and Myriophyllum heterophyllum are both banned from sale in the UK but incorrect naming or misidentification of these two species seems to be leading to the plants appearing for sale in shops.

“There are a number of Milfoil species that can be sold, and several are also native species, so we want to make sure aquatic businesses feel confident to check plants they receive from suppliers to ensure they only put legal species out for sale,” explained OATA Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee.

“Our industry is a big supporter of Invasives Species Week so this was the perfect time for us to launch this new ID guide.”

The new ID guide is free to download here.

Invasive Species Week, organised by the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat, runs from 16 to 22 May.