Changes in antioxidant activity, total phenolic and abscisic acid (ABA) constituents of Myriophyllum spicatum L. and Myriophyllum triphyllum Orchard, cadmium (Cd) aqueous macrophytes, were investigated exposed to 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16 mg l(-1) Cd concentrations. M. triphyllum exhibited strong antioxidant activity but not M. spicatum before and after exposure. Free radical scavenging activity of M. triphyllum was significantly affected from the Cd concentrations and a significant increase was observed at 6 mgl(-1) Cd concentration. Total phenolic constituent and ABA concentration of M. triphyllum is higher than that of M. spicatum with or without heavy metal exposure (P < 0.05). While total phenolic constituents of both species were not significantly affected from Cd concentrations except for 6 mgl(-1) Cd concentration ABA contents did. ABA content of M. triphyllum increased from 1.81 +/- 0.10 mu g g(-1)(control) to 5.13 +/- 0.15 mu g g(-1) at 16 mg l(-1) Cd concentration and increase was from 0.59 +/- 0.08 mu g g(-1) (control) to 2.05 +/- 0.10 mu g g(-1) for M. spicatum at the same Cd concentration. Both species accumulated ABA indicating submerge plants can also accumulate ABA and its concentration increase with increasing Cd concentration. Such studies as this one may be important for evaluation of the metabolic variations of toxic metal tolerant macrophytes that grown in polluted aqueous ecosystem.