Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata)

Yellow floating heart

Nymphoides peltata


  • A perennial, water lily-like plant that carpets the water surface with long-stalked heart-shaped leaves (3-10 cm diameter)
  • Showy five-petaled (with distinctive fringe along edges of petals/flower edges distinctively fringed) yellow flowers (3-4 cm diameter) occur on long stalks and rise a few inches above the water
  • A native of Eurasia (Eastern Asia) and the Mediterranean area as well as Japan, China, and India
  • Sold yellow floating heart as an ornamental water plant because of its attractive yellow flowers and floating leaves; popular aquatic garden ornamental for water gardens
  • Prefers slow moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds; can also grow on damp mud/mudflats
  • Tolerates anaerobic environments
  • Reproduces by water-dispersed seeds (flat, oval, approx. 3.5 mm long, hairy edges) and by new stolens. Broken off (leaves with part of a) stem will also form new plants

Consequences of invasion

  • Grows in dense patches, excluding native species and creating stagnant areas with low oxygen levels underneath the floating mats
  • Creates desirable mosquito breeding habitat
  • Mat-like patches impede recreational activities such as fishing, water skiing, swimming and boating

Status in the CKISS region

Integrated pest management options

  • little information is available on the control of N. peltata; however, mechanical and hand removal would most likely be effective if no plant parts were to escape; cutting, harvesting, covering with bottom barrier materials

Additional resources