Yellow Floating Heart

Nymphoides peltata

Yellow Floating Heart

Family: Menyanthaceae

Weed class: B
Year Listed: 2001
Native to: Europe and Asia
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be


Legal listings:

This plant is also on the Washington State quarantine list. It is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or distribute plants or plant parts of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington or to sell, offer for sale, or distribute seed packets of seed, flower seed blends, or wildflower mixes of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington. Please see WAC 16-752 for more information on the quarantine list. For questions about the quarantine list, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture's Plant Services Program at (360) 902-1874 or email PlantServices@agr.wa.gov.


Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

Yellow floating heart is a popular garden ornamental that appears to be an aggressive grower, forming dense mats of vegetation in water. It negatively impacts fish and wildlife habitat, recreation activities and water quality.

How would I identify it?

General Description

It is an aquatic, bottom-rooted perennial with long branched stolons extending up to 3 feet or more and creeping rhizomes. Leaves are on stalks and are floating on the water’s surface. Flowers are on stalks and grow just above the water’s surface.

Flower Description

Flowers are stalked and are solitary or in clusters up to 5. Flowers have 5 sepals, 5 petals and 5 stamens. Petals are yellow and have fringed edges

Leaf description

Leaves are floating, heart shaped, frequently purplish underneath, slightly wavy, and have shallowly scalloped margins. They are alternately arranged on stolons and oppositely arranged on flower stems.

Fruit Seed Description

The fruit is a capsule about 1 inch long and contains numerous flat, oval seeds.

May Be Confused With

Spatterdock, Nuphar polysepala, sometimes is mistaken for yellow floating heart. Spatterdock is a native plant to Washington. If you need help with plant identification, please contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

Where does it grow?

Yellow floating heart is found in slow moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds and swamps. It can also grow on damp mud. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of yellow floating heart in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Yellow floating heart spreads by seeds and vegetatively by rhizomes, stolons and plant fragments.

How Do I Control It?

Herbicide Control

Use of pesticides in water is regulated in Washington State. All applicators must have an aquatic endorsement on their pesticide applicators license, which is issued by the Washington Department of Agriculture. In addition, coverage under a permit issued by the Department of Ecology is required. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides/index.html for details or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata).

Whatcom County NWCB Fact Sheet on yellow floating heart

Additional Photos