Submerged aquatic plants can be used for the removal of heavy metals. In this paper, the adsorption properties of Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) for lead, zinc, and copper were investigated and the results were compared with other aquatic submerged plants. Data obtained from the initial batch adsorption studies have indicated that M. spicatum is capable of removing lead, zinc, and copper from solution. Metal biosorption was fast and equilibrium was attained within 20 min. Data obtained from further batch studies fitted the Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption capacities (q(max)) were 10.37 mg/g for Cu(II), 15.59 mg/g for Zn(II) and 46.49 mg/g for Pb(II). The kinetics of adsorption of zinc, lead and copper were also analysed and rate constants were derived for each metal. It was found that the overall adsorption process was best described by the pseudo second order kinetics. The results showed that this submerged aquatic plant M. spicatum can be successfully used for heavy metal removal. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.