Nymphoides indica

Water snowflake

Nonnative to Florida Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: tropical Asia and Africa

Water snowflake was introduced either intentionally or as an accidental escape from the water garden and aquarium industry. Water snowflake has been vouchered in several counties in Florida, although most of those specimens have now been identified as Humboldt’s floatingheart through molecular genetics. Humboldt’s floatingheart (N. humboldtiana) has been recently described in Florida. It is native to the Caribbean and Mexico and is classified as introduced (non-native). The only other report of non-cultivated water snowflake in the United States is from Hawaii, but the status of that infestation is unknown. (Biology and Control of Aquatic Plants: 2.9 Floatinghearts)

Species Characteristics

Family: Menyanthaceae

Habit: rooted in the substrate and produce leaves and flowers that float on the surface of the water.

Leaves: thick, fleshy, round leaves, up to 7 inches across, bright green on the upper and lower surfaces.

Flowers: six to twelve white densely fringed petals covered with hairs, multiple flowers may be associated with a single leaf.

Fruit: elliptic (3-5mm) with few seeds.

Seeds: brown, spherical, smooth and less than 1.5mm wide.

Reproduction: mainly via seed but can also propagate very effectively through vegetative means such as stem fragments.

Distribution in Florida: reported in Osceola, Polk, Manatee, and Lee County.


Can form a dense, monotypic canopy on the water surface excluding other native plants. This condition can create a stagnant, low-oxygen condition in the water column below. The mat-like growth can impede water flow, trap floating debris, and impede recreational activities.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Thoroughly clean boats, motors, and gear when moving from one water body to another.  Do not purchase for use in water gardens or aquariums.


More research is needed


More research is needed


No known biological control methods


More research is needed

Learn more about this species

Biology and Control of Aquatic Plants: 2.9 Floatinghearts

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas

Atlas of Florida Plants



USDA Plant Database

View records and images from University of Florida Herbarium