Yellow Floating Heart

Photo by David Cappaert,

Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata) is a perennial non-native invasive aquatic plant that originated in Europe and Asia. The Yellow Floating Heart, which has a bright yellow flower, was introduced to North America as an ornamental plant for backyard ponds. It causes damage to aquatic environments by shading out native plants, decreasing the level of oxygen in water, and creating stagnant water habitat for mosquitoes. The quickly spreading plant also makes boating, fishing, and swimming difficult because of the overgrowth of the plant’s vegetation in waterways.

Yellow Floating Heart spreads rapidly and propagates extremely efficiently by seeds, fragmentation (a piece of the plant can grow a whole new plant), and by creeping underground stems called rhizomes. The seeds have hairs that help them float and stick to waterfowl (or recreational boaters), which makes it more likely that the seeds and plants will be carried and subsequently spread to new ponds and waterways.

The flowers have five frilly yellow petals. The leaves are 1 to 4 inches (3 to 10 cm) in diameter and are round to heart-shaped with several floating leaves on each underwater rooted stem. The leaf edges appear wavy because of shallow scallops along their edges. The undersides of the leaves are purplish.

You Can Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants. Always Clean, Drain, and Dry Your Boat, Paddle Gear, and Footwear.

  • Clean all plant stems and fragments and mud from boats and trailers before leaving your lake or river and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
  • Empty all water from your gear well before moving to a new body of water.
  • Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water.
  • Clean out waders and wading boots before moving to a new body of water.
  • Dry your boat and gear thoroughly between waterbodies by towel drying or drying in the sun for at least 5 days.

Report Floating Yellow Heart with You can help ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) survey ponds and lakes for aquatic invasive species such as Yellow Floating Heart. For more information on the Backcountry Water Monitors Project and upcoming workshops and outings visit

Sources and Field Guide Pages for Download