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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Nymphoides cristata
  • Origin: Asia
  • Introduction: Mid-1990s, aquatic garden trade
  • Aquatic community: Emergent / floating leaf
  • Habitat: Water 2-10 feet deep
  • Distribution: Peninsular Florida, many South FL canals
  • Management effort: Eradication in North Florida lakes
    Maintenance in South Florida canals
  • 2017 public waters / plant acres: 13 (3%) / 14
  • 2017 Waters / acres controlled: 13 / 69

Crested floating heart Crested floating heart


Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Rooted in the substrate in 2-10 feet of water with petioles (leaf stalks) up to 15 feet long
  • Forms dense populations with overlapping leaves that
    • crowd or shade out submersed plants
    • restrict water flow
  • Multiple reproduction methods via tubers, daughter plants, rhizomes, and fragmentation
    • contribute to rapid spread and invasiveness
    • fragments easily spread by boat traffic or water movement
    • persistent roots, rhizomes and leaf fragments make control extremely difficult
    • leaf fragment can form adventitious roots and start a new plant
  • Thick cuticle makes chemical control via surface spray difficult

Management Options

  • Biological: None available. Triploid grass carp will not control
  • Chemical: Potassium & Amine Endothall, Glyphosate
  • Mechanical: Harvest mats – leaf fragments likely start new infestations
  • Physical: Hand pulling, especially new / small infestations. Drawdowns and drying / freezing not effective

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.