Nymphoides peltata - (Gmel.) Kuntze
Yellow Floatingheart
Other Common Names: yellow floatingheart
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) Kuntze (TSN 29998)
French Common Names: faux-nymphéa pelté
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.139738
Element Code: PDMNY03040
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Other flowering plants
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Menyanthaceae Nymphoides
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Nymphoides peltata
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Sep1988
Global Status Last Changed: 09Sep1988
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (16Feb2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), Texas (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Washington (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, TXexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic
Canada BCexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Medium
Rounded I-Rank: High
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Nymphoides peltata is an ornamental water-garden plant that has escaped into waterways scattered throughout the United States. Reports of this species being problematic exist in Washington and states in New England. This species is an excellent competitor for light and will displace native aquatic vegetation. It also lowers the oxygen level in the water due to the dense mats it forms, ultimately causing the water to stagnate. Its seeds have special hairs which allow them to attach to waterfowl and float to other waterways, and its seeds germinate easily. The amount of effort needed to control this species isn't known; however, it can be removed by hand or by herbicide applications.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 12Feb2007
Evaluator: Oliver, L.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: The native range is temperate to tropical Asia and Europe (Paillisson 2006).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is established outside of cultivation throughout New England and several states in the west (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: This species occurs in native species habitat, namely riparian zones, water ways and wetlands (Paillisson 2006).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Moderate significance
Comments: The greatest impact produced by this species is a lowering of oxygen levels in the waterways where it occurs. This species is problematic in Long Lake, in Spokane and Steven Counties, Washington where it grows in dense patches. These dense patches cause stagnation where oxygen levels under the floating mats is low (NWCB 2005). It is also a strong competitor for light with its heart-shaped floating leaves. It shades out phytoplankton. It is also capable of persisting in turbid waters (Paillisson 2006).

Finally, this species like other rooted-macrophytes acts as a nutrient pump from the sediment to the above-ground plant (Paillisson 2006). It isn't clear if this species is depriving other native 'rooted-macrophytes' of available nutrients in the sediment.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: This species impacts the community structure by outcompeting native species that float on top of the water, it also negatively impacts phytoplankton which occur in the water by blocking light from reaching them (Paillisson 2006).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: The Yellow floating heart displaces native species (NWCB 2005).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No information was found indicating that this species disproportionately impacts a particular native species.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Nymphoides peltata is an aquatic species and impacts habitats with slow moving water (Paillisson 2006).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This species occurs throughout New England, into the southeast, and in a few states in the west (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Moderate significance
Comments: This species is on several noxious weed lists in New England (New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut) in addition to negatively impacting natural areas in Washington state (NWCB 2005).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Present is several biogeographic regions throughout the northeast, southeast, and west.

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Nymphoides peltata is an aquatic species occurring in slow moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds and swamps 0.5 to 4 meters deep. It can also grow in damp mud (Paillisson 2006).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: This species has spread throughout one lake system in Washington state (NWCB 2005), however, reports of it actively spreading in other waterways were not found.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species already occurs scattered throughout New England, many states in the midwest, and in several states in the west (Kartesz 1999). Given its native range, in temperate to tropical Asia and Europe, this species could spread further in the southeast.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Long distance dispersal probably does happen at least occasionally given that the seeds of this species can float in water, and therefore, be carried by water currents. They also can attach to animals living in the water (Paillison 2006).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species is known from a number of states in New England where it has not become a major problem yet (IPANE 2004). In Maine a law is in place that requires boat-owners to remove all plant parts from boats before launching in a Maine water way, with the express purpose of preventing the spread of species like Nymphoides peltata (Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife). This species has spread in one lake in Washington, and now dominates the site (NWCB 2005).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Given that its seeds can stick to waterfowl and can easily float throughout waterways this species does posess the potential to spread on its own to new undisturbed habitat (Paillisson 2005). New introductions may mostly be related to garden escapes as tis species is a popular ornamental plant (Paillisson 2005).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: This species has also escaped in New Zealand but is found in the same habitats, waterways (NWCB 2005).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High/Moderate significance
Comments: The seeds have hairs which allow them to float in water and attach to animals, both facilitating the spread of the species (Paillisson 2006). It is also reported to spread vegetatively (NWCB 2005). This species produces abundant seeds which germinate readily.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Low significance
Comments: It is unclear how much effort is needed to remove this species, however, hand clearing in small areas and herbicide in larger areas may be effective (NWCB 2005).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High/Low significance
Comments: The amount of time required to remove this species is unknown.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Low significance
Comments: Since this species has been treated using herbicides, native plants are probably affected by this control measure. No direct information was found related to native species abundance reduction.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Not ranked

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Darbyshire, S. J. and Francis, A. 2008. The Biology of Invasive Alien Plants in Canada. 10. Nymphoides peltata (S. G. Gmel.) Kuntze. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 88: 811 -829

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. 2006. Invasive aquatic plants - milfoil. Invasive Aquatic Plants. Available at: http://www.state.me.us/ifw/wildlife/milfoil.htm. Accessed on: Feb. 9, 2007.

  • Noxious Weed Control Board (NWCB). 2005. Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) Kuntze). Written Findings of the State Noxious Weed Control Board - Class B- - B Designate Weeds. Available online: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/yfloatinghear. Accessed on Feb. 9, 2007.

  • Paillisson, J. 2006. Global Invasive Species Database Nymphoides peltata. Available online: http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology/asp?fr=1@si=225&sts. Accessed: Feb. 9, 2007.

  • USGS. 2003. Map if Nymphoides distribution in the United States. Available at: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/taxgroup/plants/maps/Nymph_3spec_Dec_2003_web.jpg. Accessed on Feb. 9, 2007.

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