Nymphoides peltata
Midwest Noxious Weed: Do Not Plant
Common Name: yellow floating heart 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Menyanthaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Zone: 5 to 10
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
This plant is listed as a noxious weed in one or more Midwestern states outside Missouri and should not be moved or grown under conditions that would involve danger of dissemination.


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

Nymphoides peltata, commonly called yellow floating heart or 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).

Genus name of Nymphoides means resembling Nymphaea (water lily), but these two genuses are in different families.

Specific epithet means shield-like in reference to the leaves.


No serious insect or disease problems.


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