Crested floating heart

Quick Facts


Scientific name Nymphoides cristata
Origin Asia
Introduction Mid-1990s, aquatic garden trade
Aquatic community Emergent / floating leaf
Habitat Water 2-10 feet deep
Distribution Peninsular Florida, many South FL canals
Management effort Eradication in North Florida lakes
Maintenance in South Florida canals
2017 public waters / plant acres 13 (3%) / 14
2017 Waters / acres controlled 13 / 69
Solanum tampicense

Crested floating heart covering
thousands of acres in
Santee Cooper Lakes
in South Carolina

Nymphoides aquatica

Management Options

Biological None available
Triploid grass carp will not control
Chemical Potassium & Amine Endothall, Glyphosate
Mechanical Harvest mats – leaf fragments likely start new infestations
Physical Hand pulling, especially new / small infestations
Drawdowns and drying / freezing not effective

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Rooted in the substrate in 2-10 feet of water with petioles (leaf stalks) up to 15 feet long
  • Forms dense populations with overlapping leaves that
    • crowd or shade out submersed plants
    • restrict water flow
  • Multiple reproduction methods via tubers, daughter plants, rhizomes, and fragmentation
    • contribute to rapid spread and invasiveness
    • fragments easily spread by boat traffic or water movement
    • persistent roots, rhizomes and leaf fragments make control extremely difficult
    • leaf fragment can form adventitious roots and start a new plant
  • Thick cuticle makes chemical control via surface spray difficult

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.