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Nymphoides aquatica (Big floatingheart)
Cressler, Alan

Nymphoides aquatica

Nymphoides aquatica (J.F. Gmel.) Kuntze

Big Floatingheart, Floating Hearts

Menyanthaceae (Buckbean Family)


USDA Symbol: nyaq

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A water-lily-like plant with floating, heart-shaped leaves on long stalks, with a flat-topped cluster of small, white flowers rising just above the leaf blade.

The genus name refers to the plant's resemblance to the Water-lily genus Nymphaea. However, its clusters of small, white flowers with only 5 petals make it quite different from the single-flowered, many-petaled Water-lilies. Another floating hearts species (N. cordata), with smaller, green leaves mottled with purple above and smooth beneath, occurs from Newfoundland to Florida, west to Louisiana, and north to Ontario. An introduced, yellow-flowered species is established in the South; it has also been found in the Hudson River Valley of New York, in Missouri, and Rhode Island.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Leaves usually floating, flowers up to about 4 inches above the surface of the water.
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , DE , FL , GA , LA , MD , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Southern New Jersey to Florida; west to Texas.
Native Habitat: Still water

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Any pond bottom


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Bog or pond area, Water garden
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Nymphoides aquatica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nymphoides aquatica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nymphoides aquatica


Record Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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