Fact Sheet

Yellow Floating Heart


Nymphoides peltata | Other Names: Fringed Water Lily, Water Fringe


Bottom-rooted floating-leaved aquatic plant. Leaves round and heart or kidney-shaped, 3-15 cm in diameter, with slightly wavy edges and often tinged purple-brown beneath. Flowers several, on individual stalks from common point on the stem, yellow, 3-4 cm in diameter, star-shaped with 5 fringed petals, in bloom from June to August. Long and thick creeping stems typically bear several 2-3 mm thick erect leaf-bearing stems.

Habitat & Impact

Slow-moving waters of pond, lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, from water’s edge to a depth of 4 m. Yellow Floating Heart can form dense mats of floating vegetation that excludes native species. Can also create stagnant areas which results in a lower level of oxygen and negatively affects native fish habitat. The quality of native freshwater habitat suffers, and even recreational activities (like swimming and canoeing) can become difficult or impossible.


First marketed as an ornamental plant in 1891 in the United States, subsequently spread as a horticultural species and still commonly used in some regions. Only recently introduced to Nova Scotia, where it was first reported escaped from a water garden at Little AlbroLake (Halifax County) in 2006.

Fragrant Water Lily

Native Alternative

Floating Heart (Nymphoides cordata), Yellow Pond Lily (Nupharvariegata), and Fragrant Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata) are all attractive, native aquatic plants.

Key Identification Features

Yellow, fringed, star-shaped flower. Round and heart-shaped leaves.

Invasion in Dartmouth
Round or heart shaped leaf

Interesting Fact

Stewardship Actions

Promote the use of beautiful, native ornamental aquatic plants. Always clean your recreational gear properly after visiting a waterway. If you find this invasive species, report it to iNaturalist, or to the Invasive Species Alliance of Nova Scotia at www.nsinvasives.ca.