Nymphoides peltata

Yellow floating heart

Nonnative to FloridaFederal Noxious Weed ListFlorida Noxious Weed List Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: Central Europe and Asia Minor

Yellow floatingheart was first documented in 1882 in New York City’s Central Park, where it was grown in a terrace pond, and has been marketed as an ornamental in the water garden industry since 1891. By 1930, it was found out of cultivation in the Pacific Northwest and was reported in eastern Washington and Oregon. It is currently established in 25 states but is not yet known to be established in Florida and has only been detected in one county.  This species prefers slow moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs and ponds, but can also grow in damp mud, swamps and wetlands and is known to occur in ditches and canals.   

Species Characteristics

Family: Menyanthaceae

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

Leaves: oval to heart-shaped with a wavy or scalloped margin, attached to the stems in an opposite manner, size and shape are seasonally dependent. Upper surface of the leaves is green to yellow-green and underside may be maroon or purple.

Flowers: bright yellow five-petaled, measures up to 2 inches across, produced at each leaf. Has a broad membranous margin that is wavy to ruffled, which creates an irregular “fringe”

Fruit: beaked capsule

Seeds: flat, smooth, and ovoid with winged margins

Distribution in Florida: has been reported in Orange County


Yellow floatingheart creates dense mats and can reproduce prolifically through both vegetative and sexual means. Infestations have caused many negative environmental and economic impacts, which include displacing native species, reducing biodiversity, decreasing water quality, impeding recreational activities, and diminishing aesthetic value. It is very difficult to control due to its ability to form a new plant from rhizomes, stolons, separated leaves, or seeds.

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. 


Because it is not yet established in Florida, early detection and rapid response is critical.  If you suspect you see this plant, report it immediately to the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Department of Plant Industry.


Not generally practical due to its reproduction via any fragments left in the water column.


No known biological control agents.


Although both foliar and water-column treatments can be utilized to control large infestations, water-column treatments tend to have better efficacy. Contact herbicides such diquat and endothall and systemic herbicides such as imazamox, imazapyr, and auxins (2,4-D, triclopyr and florpyrauxifen-benzyl) have been used for management of floatinghearts with varying levels of success. As with other floating-leaved species, herbicide efficacy is influenced by environmental conditions such as currents and wave action. It is important to consult an expert for assistance in developing the most effective and integrated approach to management.

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


FDACS Pest Alert


USDA Plant Database

Invasive Species Compendium

View records and images from University of Florida Herbarium