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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Azolla caroliniana

Fairy Moss, Mosquito fern

Scientific Name:

Azolla caroliniana

Genus:

Azolla

Species Epithet:

caroliniana

Common Name:

Fairy Moss, Mosquito fern

Plant Family

Native/Alien:

US Native

Size:

0-1 ft.

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Aquatic

Growing Area:

Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

(GA, NC, SC, VA), Mt, Pd (NC, SC, VA): stagnant
waters of interdune ponds, limesink ponds, old millponds, beaver ponds, floodplain sloughs; uncommon (though often locally
abundant, rare in Mountains and Piedmont of Virginia only). June-September. Widespread in the se. United States, extending
irregularly north (partly from introductions) into s. New England and MN, and south into the tropics.

Leaf Arrangement:

No apparent leaves

Leaf Retention:

Nothing Specified

Leaf Type:

Fern Frond

Leaf Form:

Nothing Specified

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

Notes:

Used in water gardens and bogs. Fixes nitrogen and used as a fertilizer and food for fish.
This plant has lacy, bright green fronds that turn reddish in full sun and during fall. Resembles duckweed.

Ribbit! This is a very small floating species that grows in dense patches. A given plant has several fronds in different directions, spreading radially.

Coastal NC

The Scientific Name is Azolla caroliniana. You will likely hear them called Fairy Moss, Mosquito fern. This picture shows the Ribbit!   This is a very small floating species that grows in dense patches. A given plant has several fronds in different directions, spreading radially. of Azolla caroliniana

Larry Mellichamp

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/azolla-caroliniana/

https://nc.audubon.org/700



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