Nymphoides indica
Common Name: water snowflake 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Menyanthaceae
Native Range: Tropics
Zone: 8 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-11 where plants will survive outdoors in winter. This species of water snowflake is best grown in 1-2’ of water in organically rich sandy bottom loams or in submerged containers. It needs full sun to part shade. Plants spread by viviparous leaves. In St. Louis, plants may be grown as annuals by submerging containers in up to 1-2’ of water. If desired, containers may be brought indoors before fall frost for overwintering in a greenhouse or aquarium with a grow light. Although plants may be propagated by seed, the easiest method is by dividing off plantlets.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Nymphoides indica, commonly called water snowflake, is a rhizomatous, floating-leaf, tender aquatic perennial. Although native to tropical areas, it has naturalized in certain parts of southern Florida. Round, flat, bright green, lily-like leaves (2-8” diameter) cover the water surface somewhat like water lily. Umbels of white, snowflake-like flowers (to 1” diameter) with 5-lobed corollas and yellow centers bloom on stalks above the floating leaves in summer. Corolla lobes are fringed and covered with frilly hairs. Flowers last only one day. Plantlets are produced at the leaves. In mild winter conditions, plants can spread somewhat aggressively. Nymphoides means resembling Nymphaea (water lily), but plants are in different families. Water snowflake 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 of India.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Floating water lily-like plant which fits well into water gardens, pools or small ponds.