Crested Floating Heart

Nyphoides cristata

Description: herbaceous aquatic plant with floating stems from a buried rootstock. Slender tuberous roots dangle from the stem-leaf node. Has a single heart-shaped leaf with smooth margins, cordate base, and short petiole at the tip of each stem.

Flowers 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.

 

Ecological Threat:  Infestations 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.

 

Biology & Spread:  first introduced to the U.S. as a water garden plant. Still being sold in the water garden trade.Fragments of the plant are spread by wind, flowing water, boats, and trailers.

In Oklahoma:  Not found in Oklahoma, but has been reported in neighboring states. 

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Jim Huff, Santee Cooper, Bugwood.org