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Nymphoides peltata

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Kemper Code:  A194

Common Name: yellow floating heart
Zone: 5 to 10
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Menyanthaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Height: 0.25 to 0.5 feet
Spread: 1 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: May - September   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

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Where is this species invasive in the US?

  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Best grown in 1-2 of still water in organically rich sandy bottom loams or in containers placed at the bottom of the water body. Plants grow best in full sun. Plants spread by runners. Although plants may be propagated by seed, the easiest method is by dividing off plantlets. Plants will overwinter in the St. Louis area at the bottom of a pond in somewhat the same manner as do hardy water lilies. In areas with mild winter conditions, plants can spread somewhat aggressively to the point of crowding out native species.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Yellow floating heart (also called water-fringe) is a rhizomatous, floating-leaf, aquatic perennial that looks like a small water lily (Nymphoides means resembling Nymphea). It is native to Europe and Asia, but has naturalized in a number of states in the U. S. from New England to Texas plus Arizona, California and Washington. It features ovate to rounded, flat, heart-shaped, medium green leaves (to 4) that cover the water surface somewhat like water lily. Plants spread rapidly by underwater stems (runners). Star-shaped bright yellow flowers (to 3/4 across) with five-lobed corollas bloom on long stalks 2-3 above the leaves in summer. Flower lobes are fringed. Flowers last only one day. Yellow floating heart also resembles Hydrocleys (see Hydrocleys nymphoides).


No serious insect or disease problems.


Floating water lily-like plant that fits well into ponds or water gardens.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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