Abstract Azolla, which is an aquatic fern, has proved to be effective in the uptake and accumulation of metals from polluted waters. Azolla spp., namely A. microphylla cv. MH3 and A. caroliniana Willd, were chosen as model plants so that Cd(II) could be accumulated from aqueous solution. An increase in uptake time and the concentration of Cd(II) in aqueous solution resulted in more Cd(II) accumulation in both species. Modified Michaelis–Menten equation was employed to describe the concentration-dependent kinetics of Cd(II) uptake through the roots of A. microphylla cv. MH3, and the values of K m and V max were found to be 0.23 mg/L and 16.49 μg/(g.f.wt.h), respectively. Cd(II) uptake by A. microphylla cv. MH3 occurs partly through Ca(II) channels and has the potential to be mediated by Zn(II) transporters.