NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Azolla caroliniana

Fairy Moss, Mosquito fern

Scientific Name:

Azolla caroliniana



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Fairy Moss, Mosquito fern

Plant Family


US Native


0-1 ft.


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:


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


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.

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USDA PLANTS Database Record

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