Yellow floating-heart

Scientific Name: Nymphoides peltata

Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.orgCopyright Info

Identification: Yellow floating-heart is a perennial plant that grows rooted in shallow water. Its round to heart-shaped leaves resemble those of water lilies. Leaves are green to yellow-green and have slightly wavy edges. The leaf undersides are often purple. Flowering stems grow above the surface and carry two to five bright yellow flowers. The five-petal flowers are fringed on the edges, which distinguishes yellow floating-heart from native lily species.

Size: Leaves are 1-5 inches (3-12 cm) in diameter. Flowers are 0.75-1.5 inches (2-4 cm) across.

Native Range: This plant is native to eastern Asia and the Mediterranean.

Table 1. Great Lakes region nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state/province, 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.

Full list of USGS occurrences

State/ProvinceYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Michigan195020185Black-Macatawa; Clinton; Detroit; Lower Grand; Upper Grand
New York196520001Lake Champlain
Ohio193020194Ashtabula-Chagrin; Chautauqua-Conneaut; Cuyahoga; Grand
Vermont196319632Lake Champlain; Mettawee River
Wisconsin201020132Menominee; Peshtigo

Table last updated 9/30/2019

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: This species is commonly used as an ornamental plant in ponds and water gardens. It has been both accidentally and intentionally released into lakes and rivers, and some nuisance populations have become established. Seeds and plant fragments may further spread the plant downstream or to new areas within a lake. This plant may also be transported by waterfowl.

Status: Yellow floating-heart was sold as a water garden plant in the United States as early as 1891. It has now been found in more than 20 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, all of which border the Great Lakes. It is listed as a harmful weed in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington.

Author: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Contributing Agencies:
NOAA Sea Grant GLRI Logo

Revision Date: 8/28/2012

Citation for this information:
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 2019, Yellow floating-heart: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI,, Revision Date: 8/28/2012, Access Date: 10/13/2019

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.