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Nymphoides peltata


yellow floating heart In-situ
yellow floating heart in-situ

Habitat: Yellow floating heart is found within the floating-leaved plant community. It can grow in various substrates (sand, mud, gravel, etc.), in littoral areas ranging from the damp mud along the waters edge to water depths of 4 meters.

yellow floating heart leaves
Floating leaves often have wavy margins

Description: Rounded to heart-shaped floating leaves emerge on long stalks from rooted stems. Each rooted stem supports a loosely branched group of several leaves. Note that all heart-shaped floating leaved plants that are native to Maine produce only one leaf per rooted stem. The leaves are typically wavy (shallowly scalloped) along the outer edges and have purplish undersides. Leaves average 3 to 10 cm in diameter. The flowers are showy (3 to 4 cm in diameter), bright yellow with five distinctly fringed petals. They are held above the water surface on slender stalks with 1 to 5 flowers per stalk. The fruit capsule is 2.5 cm long and contains numerous seeds. The seeds are oval and flat (about 3.5 mm long) and hairy along their outer edges.

yellow floating heart Range Map
U.S. range map of yellow floating heart

Origin and U.S. Range: Yellow floating heart is native to parts of Europe and Asia. It is not native to North America and was introduced to this country as an ornamental pond species. Nearby populations occur in Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New York.

yellow floating heart flower
Yellow flower has five
delicately fringed petals

Annual Cycle: Yellow floating heart is an aquatic perennial that propagates by seeds, fragmentation, and spreading rhizomes. Most floating leaved plants lack the ability to propagate by fragmentation, but in the case of yellow floating heart broken leaves with attached stem parts will form new plants. Viable seeds are produced abundantly and germinate readily. Seed hairs help the seeds float and aid their attachment to waterfowl, increasing possibility of spread to new areas.

Look Alikes: May be confused with European frog-bit, fragrant water-lily, little floating heart, spatterdock, and watershield.

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yellow floating heart leaves yellow floating heart flower yellow floating heart in-situ yellow floating heart map yellow floating heart illustration

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