The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Hydrocleys nymphoides
Hydrocleys nymphoides
Native Transplant

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Hydrocleys nymphoides (Willd.) Buchenau

Common name: waterpoppy

Synonyms and Other Names: Hydrocleis nymphoides Buchenau, Stratiotes nymphoides Humboldt & Bonpland ex Willdenow, Limnocharis humboldtii Richard, Vespuccia humboldtii Parlatore, Hydrocleys commersonii Richard.

Lirio de agua amarillo

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: As described in Godfrey & Wooten (1973):

Habit: perennial, emergent, aquatic forb

Roots/Stems: rhizomes root at nodes

Leaves: basal, alternate, petioles long, blades ovate to suborbicular, basally cordate and apically rounded, margins entire, upper surface glabrous, lower surface minutely hirsute, midrib spongy

Flowers: solitary, axillary, pedicels long, sepals 3, petals 3, yellow, obovate, 2-3 cm, stamens numerous, filaments purple (fertile), carpels 5-8 and free

Fruits/Seeds: follicles with several seeds

Look-a-likes: Limnocharis flava (L.) Buch. has flowers in umbels;

Size: up to 50 cm tall

Native Range: The Greater Antilles (Puerto Rico, Trinidad), Central America (Guatemala), and South America. Presumed extirpated or extinct in Puerto Rico (Axelrod 2011).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Hydrocleys nymphoides are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
LA201020101Bayou Pierre
TX194420213Austin-Travis Lakes; Caddo Lake; Pine Island Bayou

Table last updated 7/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: As per the Missouri Botanical Garden (2018):

Life history: flowers June to August, lasting a day; spreads vegetatively when runners send out new roots

Habitat: lake margins and wet ditches

Tolerances: flowering occurs in water above 21°C (70°F)


Means of Introduction: Hydrocleys nymphoides is sold through the pond and aquarium trade and is not prohibited in the U.S. It is commonly cultivated and may escape captivity or be released from aquaria (Muenscher 1944, Godfrey and Wooten 1979).

Status: Unknown in non-indigenous range. Possibly failed or extirpated.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, F.S. 2011. A systematic vademecum to the vascular plants of Puerto Rico. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Ft. Worth, TX.

Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1979. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States, Monocotyledons. University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Missouri Botanical Garden. 2018. Hydrocleys nymphoides - Plant Finder. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b812. Accessed on 09/12/2018.

Muenscher, W.C. 1944. Aquatic plants of the United States. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc/Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Author: Pfingsten, I.A.

Revision Date: 6/29/2023

Citation Information:
Pfingsten, I.A., 2024, Hydrocleys nymphoides (Willd.) Buchenau: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=1101, Revision Date: 6/29/2023, Access Date: 7/21/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/21/2024].

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