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.

Nymphoides peltata
Nymphoides peltata
(yellow floating-heart)
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Nymphoides peltata (S.G. Gmel.) Kuntze

Common name: yellow floating-heart

Synonyms and Other Names: Limnanthemum peltatum S.G. Gmel., Nymphoides nymphaeoides (L.) Britton, yellow floating-heart, yellow floatingheart, floating heart, fringed water lily, entire marshwort

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo


Stem/Roots: Nymphoides peltata is a rooted, perennial species with long branched stolons (up to 2 meters) that lie just below the water surface. Multi-leaved "plantlets" are produced at the nodes along with roots.

Leaves: Leaves are floating, round to heart-shaped (cordate) (3-12 cm in diameter) which resemble those of waterlilies (Godfrey and Wooten 1981; Newman 2000). Leaves are green to yellow-green and have slightly wavy margins. Undersides of leaves are often purple. 

Flowers: Two to five bright yellow, five-petaled flowers (2-4 cm in diameter) arise from each node as simple umbels with shallowly fringed petals borne above the water surface. Plants flower between May and October depending on water temperature (Godfrey and Wooten 1981; Sivarajan and Joseph 1993). 

Fruit/Seeds: Each flower produces one beaked capsule (2.5 cm), dispersing few to many smooth, flat, shiny seeds with margins of stiff hairs (Sivarajan and Joseph 1993).

Look-a-likes: Nymphoides cordata little floatingheart; Nuphar variegata yellow water lily

Size: 2 meters average stem length (Sivarajan and Joseph 1993)

Native Range: Eastern Asia and the Mediterranean (Stuckey 1973)

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Puerto Rico &
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Guam Saipan
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 Nymphoides peltata are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Arizona196719812Lower Colorado Region; Upper Santa Cruz
Arkansas193920102Arkansas-White-Red Region; Illinois
California198319831South Fork American
Connecticut190020094Housatonic; Lower Connecticut; Quinebaug; Shetucket
District of Columbia189019571Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan
Florida201220121Florida Southeast Coast
Illinois194820084Lower Rock; Shoal; Upper Kaskaskia; Wabash
Indiana194519812Ohio Region; Tippecanoe
Louisiana189918991East Central Louisiana Coastal
Maine200620061Maine Coastal
Maryland201720171Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan
Massachusetts188220164Cape Cod; Charles; Nashua; Westfield
Michigan195020173Clinton; Detroit; Lower Grand
Mississippi195519761Lower Leaf
Missouri189320015Cahokia-Joachim; Lower Missouri; Neosho; Spring; Upper St. Francis
Nebraska200720071Big Papillion-Mosquito
New Jersey194019831Cohansey-Maurice
New York192920156Hudson-Hoosic; Lake Champlain; Lower Hudson; Middle Hudson; Rondout; Southern Long Island
North Carolina200120162Haw; Lower Neuse
Ohio193020175Ashtabula-Chagrin; Chautauqua-Conneaut; Cuyahoga; Lower Great Miami; Upper Scioto
Oklahoma194720173Lower Cimarron; Lower Washita; Upper Little
Oregon199920176Applegate; Mckenzie; North Umpqua; South Umpqua; Tualatin; Upper Willamette
Pennsylvania191520184French; Lower Delaware; Schuylkill; Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock
Rhode Island197719771Narragansett
South Carolina200420103Cooper; Saluda; Tugaloo
Tennessee200320142Lower Cumberland; Upper Elk
Texas198120104Aransas; Farmers-Mud; Navasota; North Corpus Christi Bay
Vermont196319632Lake Champlain; Mettawee River
Virginia200420174Meherrin; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock; Rivanna
Washington193020066Hangman; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Spokane; Lower Yakima; Nooksack; Pacific Northwest Region
Wisconsin200620174Lower Wisconsin; Menominee; Middle Rock; Peshtigo

Table last updated 6/19/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Nymphoides peltata is a perennial herb that grows in lakes, ponds, swamps and channels with slow-moving water (Campbell et al. 2010, Grosse and Mevi-Schutz 1987, IL DNR 2005). Nymphoides peltata can grow in water 0.5-4.0 m deep and it tolerates anaerobic environments (Grosse and Mevi-Schutz 1987, OISAP 2013). This species can also survive on mudflats (Campbell et al. 2010). The growing season for is this species is April – late October; leaves have a 23 – 43 day life span (IL DNR 2005). Nymphoides peltata overwinters as dormant rhizomes (IL DNR 2005).

The small fruits contain hairy seeds that float in the water and can attach to animals (Benson et al. 2004, IL DNR 2005). Research by Cook (1990) shows dispersal mechanisms may include transport by waterfowl as well as chain-like rafts of floating seed. This species can also reproduce vegetatively; plant fragments (from nodes and leaves) and rhizomes can develop into new plants (MISIN 2013, OSIAP 2013).

Means of Introduction: Commonly cultivated as an ornamental species for ponds, N. peltata has been both accidentally and intentionally released into lakes and rivers with some nuisance populations becoming established (Benson et al. 2004). Secondary infestations may result as seed and fragments of plant segments disperse downstream or within a lake (Cook 1990; MISIN 2013).

Status: Established where mentioned above.

Impact of Introduction: Nymphoides peltata typically develops monotypic dense patches which may exclude other native plants and create stagnant, low-oxygen conditions in the water below (DiTomaso and Healey 2003). These areas of stagnant waters can be an ideal location for mosquitos to breed (OISAP 2013). If the population of yellow floating heart is large enough, fish and other wildlife may be forced to relocate (CEH 2004). The mat-like patches impede recreational activities such as fishing, water skiing, swimming and boating. (CEH 2004, Lui et al. 2010, WI DNR 2012)

Nymphoides peltata can move nitrogen and phosphorus up from the sediment into the aboveground biomass and back down into the root structure during the winter (Brock et al. 1983). Areas dominated by N. peltata were associated with higher macroinvertebrate species richness, densities, and biomass than in areas without macrophytes (Brock and Van der Velde 1996), although this may be due to macrophyte structure and not strictly N. peltata.

Remarks: Plants such as Hydrilla verticillata can hitchhike with ornamental species when mail-ordered.

References: (click for full references)

Anderson, L.C. (curator). 2009. Herbarium Specimen Voucher Data, Florida State University (FSU), Herbarium. Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu/.

Benson, A. J., C.C. Jacono, P.L. Fuller, E. R. McKercher., and M. M. Richerson. 2004. Summary Report of Nonindigenous Aquatic Species in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 5. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arlington, Va. 145 pp.

Brock, T.C.M., M.C.M. Bongaerts, G.J.M.A. Heijnen, and J. H. F. G. Heijthuijsen. 1983. Nitrogen and phosphorus accumulation and cycling by Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) O. Kuntze (Menyanthaceae). Aquatic Botany 17(3—4):189—214.

Brock, T.C.M., and G. Van der Velde. 1996. Aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure of a Nymphoides pelata-dominated and macrophyte-free site in an oxbow lake. Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 30(2-3):151-163.

Campbell, S., P. Higman, B. Slaughter, and E. Schools. 2010. A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats for Michigan. Michigan DNRE, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 90 pp.

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. 2015. EDDMapS: Early detection and distribution mapping system. The University of Georgia, Tifton, GA. http://www.eddmaps.org.

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). 2004. Information Sheet 6: Fringed Waterlily. Natural Environment Research Council, Centre for Aquatic Plant Management. 2 pp.

Consortium of California Herbaria. 2014. Consortium of California Herbaria. Consortium of California Herbaria, Berkeley, CA. http://www.gbif.org/dataset/4fa894f4-b6c6-4ec0-b816-9bb03b3ca106. Created on 01/10/2014. Accessed on 11/20/2015.

Cook, C. D. K. 1990. Seed dispersal of Nymphoides peltata (S.G. Gmelin) O. Kuntze (Menyanthaceae) Aquatic Botany. 37:352-340.

Cooperrider, T.S. 1995. The Dicotyledoneae of Ohio. Part 2: Linaceae through Campanulaceae. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

DiTomaso, J.M. and E.A. Healey. 2003. Aquatic and riparian weeds of the West.  University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Oakland, California. 

Falck, M. and S. Garske. 2003. Invasive Non-native Plant Management During 2002. Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Odanah, WI. 68 pp.

Freeman, M. 2008. New local threat revealed. Mail Tribune, Medford, OR. 2008 (December 13). http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081213/NEWS/812130304/-1/NEWS02.

Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of the Southeastern United States, dicotyledons. University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Great Lakes Panel of Aquatic Nuisance Species (GLPANS). 2008. Prohibitied Species in the Great Lakes Region. 14 pp.

Grosse, W. and J. Mevi-Schutz. 1987. A beneficial gas transport system in Nymphoides peltata. American Journal of Botany 74(6): 947—952.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IL DNR). 2005. Aquatic Invasive Species: Yellow Floating Heart. 3 pp. Available http://www.in.gov/dnr/files/YELLOW_FLOATING_HEART.pdf.

iMapInvasives. 2012. iMapInvasives Oregon. The Nature Conservancy. http://www.imapinvasives.org/. Accessed on 04/09/2015.

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE). 2013. Yellow floating heart: Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) Kuntze. Available http://www.eddmaps.org/ipane/ipanespecies/aquatics/Nymphoides_peltata.htm. Accessed 29 April 2013.

IPANE. 2001. Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) at the University of Connecticut online database. http://invasives.eeb.uconn.edu/ipane/.

Kelly, J. and C. M. Maguire. 2009. Fringed Water Lily (Nymphoides peltata) Invasive Species Action Plan. Northern Ireland Environmental Ageny (NIEA) and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as part of Invasive Species Ireland. 14 pp.

Kucher, K. 2015. DNR removes high-threat aquatic invasive plant from Dearborn pond. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Detroit, MI. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153--365098--,00.html. Created on 09/18/2015. Accessed on 09/21/2015.

Les, D.H., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1999. Introduction of nonindigenous aquatic vascular plants in southern New England: a historical perspective. Biological Invasions 1(2/3):281-300.

Loyola University Chicago. 2013. Illinois Database of Aquatic Non-native Species. GISIN, Fort Collins, CO. http://gisin.org/cwis438/websites/GISINDirectory/Occurrence_Result.php?ProjectID=391&WebSiteID=4. Created on 05/13/2015. Accessed on 05/13/2015.

Lui, K., M. Butler, M. Allen, E. Snyder, J. da Silva, B. Brownson, and A. Ecclestone. 2010. Field Guide to Aqautic Invasive Species: Identification, collection and reporting of aquatic invasive in Ontario waters. Minstry of Natural Resources, Ontario, Canada. 201 pp.

Michigan State University. 2015. Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN). Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. http://www.misin.msu.edu/browse/. Accessed on 12/04/2015.

Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN). 2013. Yellow floatingheart (Nymphoides peltata). Available http://www.misin.msu.edu/facts/detail.php?id=182. Accessed 29 April 2013.

Mills, E.L., J.H. Leach, J.T. Carlton, and C.L. Secor. 1993. Exotic species in the Great Lakes: a history of biotic crises and anthropogenic introductions. Journal of Great Lakes Research 19(1):1-54.

Missouri Botanical Garden. 2007. Missouri Botanical Garden. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO. http://www.gbif.org/dataset/7bd65a7a-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a. Created on 04/02/2007. Accessed on 11/20/2015.

Nelson, E.N., and R.W. Couch. 1985. Aquatic Plants of Oklahoma I: Submersed, Floating-leaved, and selected emergent macrophytes. Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK.

New York Invasive Species Council. 2010. Final report: a regulatory system for non-native species. Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY. 131 pp.

Newman, J. 2000. Fringed waterlily. Centre for Aquatic Plant Management, Reading, Berkshire, UK.

Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society. 2009. Nor'Easter Newsletters. Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society.

Ontario's Invasive Species Awareness Program (OISAP). 2013. Yellow Floating Heart: Nymphoides peltata. Available http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-aquatic/yellow-floating-heart/. Accessed 29 April 2013.

Ornduff, R. 1970. Cytogeography of Nymphoides (Menyanthaceae). Taxon. 19:715-719.

Parsons, J. 2007. Washington Aquatic Plant Monitoring Database. Washington Department of Ecology, Lacey, WA. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/lakes/aquaticplants/index.html.

Pennsylvania Flora Database. 2011. Pennsylvania Flora Project. Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania (MOAR), Philadelphia, PA. http://www.paflora.org.

Reznicek, A.A. 1994. The disjunct coastal plain flora in the Great Lakes region. Biological Conservation. 68:203-215.

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Sivarajan, V.V. and K.T. Joseph. 1993. The genus Nymphoides Seguier (Menyanthaceae) in India. Aquatic Botany. 45:145-170.

Stuckey, R.L. 1973. The introduction and distribution of Nymphoides peltatum (Menyanthaceae) in North America. Bartonia 42:14-23.

Takagawa, S., J. Nishihiro and I. Washitani. 2005.  Safe sites for establishment of Nymphoides peltata seedlings for recovering the population from the soil seed bank.  Ecological Research. 20(6): 661-667.

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University of Alabama Biodiversity and Systematics. 2007. Herbarium (UNA). University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. http://www.gbif.org/dataset/84f9770e-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a. Created on 04/03/2007. Accessed on 11/20/2015.

University of Arizona Herbarium. 2008. UA Herbarium. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. http://www.gbif.org/dataset/95b97882-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a. Created on 09/10/2008. Accessed on 11/20/2015.

University of Connecticut. 2011. CONN. University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. http://www.gbif.org/dataset/5288946d-5fcf-4b53-8fd3-74f4cc6b53fc. Created on 09/08/2011. Accessed on 11/20/2015.

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR). 2012. Yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata). Available http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives/fact/yellowfloatingheart.html. Accessed 29 April 2013.

Wright, R., C. Tumer, C. Williams, and T. Sprenkle. 2006. WSSI Scientists Discover Non-Native Plants New To Virginia. Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. Gainesville, VA. 14 (7). http://www.wetlandstudies.com/fieldNotesArticle.cfm?id=25.

Author: Pfingsten, I.A., D.D. Thayer, L. Berent, and V. Howard.

Revision Date: 3/13/2018

Peer Review Date: 3/23/2016

Citation Information:
Pfingsten, I.A., D.D. Thayer, L. Berent, and V. Howard., 2018, Nymphoides peltata (S.G. Gmel.) Kuntze: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=243, Revision Date: 3/13/2018, Peer Review Date: 3/23/2016, Access Date: 6/21/2018

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.

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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. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/21/2018].

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