crested floating heart
Nymphoides cristata (Roxb.) O. Ktze.


Nymphoides cristata is an herbaceous aquatic plant with floating stems from a buried rootstock. Slender tuberous roots dangle from the stem-leaf node.
Nymphoides cristata has a single heart-shaped leaf with smooth margins, cordate base, and short petiole at the tip of each stem.
Flowers of Nymphoides cristata are white, with membranous margins, 0.3-0.9 in. (0.8-2.3 cm) wide, petal lobes with a ruffled crest (like a rooster’s comb) along the upper midvein, blooming from summer to fall.
The fruit is an oblong capsule, with smooth, rounded seeds.
Ecological Threat
Nymphoides cristata was first introduced to the U.S. as a water garden plant. Fragments of the plant are spread by wind, flowing water, boats, and trailers. Infestations of Nymphoides cristata were first observed in cypress swamps and water management canals in southeast Florida in the late 1990s. Within a few years, large canals and suburban lakes in the central and eastern parts of the state had become infested. There is serious concern about this plant because herbicides that control other floating and emergent invasive plants have had little effect on it. Similar natives are Big Floating Heart (N. aquatica), Little Floating Heart (N. cordata), and Water Snowflake (N. indica). Nymphoides cristata is still being sold in the water garden trade.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Menyanthaceae
Genus: Nymphoides
Subject: Nymphoides cristata (Roxb.) O. Ktze.


Plants - Aquatic Plants