Scientific name

Nymphoides Ség.

Common names

water snowflake, banana lily, floating heart, fringed water-lily, wavy marshwort



Native distribution


Species cultivated

Nymphoides aurantiaca (Dalzell) Kuntze

N. aquatica (J.F. Gmel.) Kuntze

N. crenata (F. Muell.) Kuntze

N. ezannoi Berhaut

N. fallax Ornduff

N. forbesiana (Griseb.) Kuntze

N. geminata (R. Br.) Kuntze

N. hydrophylla (Lour.) Kuntze

N. indica (L.) Kuntze

N. microphylla (A. St.Hil.) Kuntze

N. minima (F. Muell.) Kuntze

N. montana Aston

N. peltata (S.G. Gmel.) Kuntze

N. spongiosa Aston

Adventive distribution

Nymphoides aquatica is introduced into Japan.

N. cristata (Roxb.) Kuntze and N. indica are introduced to the United States.

N. geminata is introduced into New Zealand.

N. peltata is introduced into New Zealand and the United States.

Weed status

Nymphoides geminata and N. peltata are significant weeds in several countries.


submersed, attached basal rosette and ascending-stoloniferous stem with floating leaves and emergent pedicillate flowers

Brief description

Annual or perennial. With or without a basal rosette of leaves, sometimes with banana-shaped root tubers. Stem compact or ascending, floating just below water surface, inflorescence and roots produced at nodes, or the inflorescences produced on lateral branches separately from the leaves and roots. Submersed leaves petiolate, reniform to orbicular, base attenuate to cordate, margin undulate; floating leaf blade ovate, orbicular, or chevron shaped, basal slit narrow or wide, veins palmate, margin entire or crenate. Clusters of solitary flowers on elongate pedicels, produced either from nodes appearing to arise from base of floating leaves, or on separate lateral branches. Flowers opening above water surface, actinomorphic; sepals green, triangular; petals 4-7, fused at base, central region fimbriate, yellow or white, sometimes pink. Dispersal by seeds or stem fragments.

Natural habitat

still waters of all types of water bodies

Additional comments

A genus containing 34 species worldwide, various species of Nymphoides are commonly grown in outdoor ponds.