Scientific name

Hydrocleys Rich.

Common names

water poppy



Native distribution

Central and South America

Species cultivated

Hydrocleys martii Seub.

H. nymphoides (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Buchenau

Adventive distribution

Hydrocleys nymphoides is found in Australia, New Zealand, North America, and several Asian countries.

Weed status

Hydrocleys nymphoides is a significant weed in several countries.


creeping or floating stoloniferous plant with floating or emergent leaves

Brief description

Perennial. Stem creeping, typically floating. Leaves floating or emergent, basal or in clusters along stem; petioles with transverse septae; leaf blade entire, ovate to suborbicular, venation palmate, midvein distinctive; base cordate. Seedlings with submersed, linear leaves. Flowers showy, axillary, solitary, pedicellate; sepals 3; petals 3, white or yellow; stamens numerous. Fruit linear, with numerous seeds. Dispersal by seeds or stem fragments.

Natural habitat

still waters and swamps

Additional comments

Hydrocleys contains at least six species, although only two species are commonly cultivated worldwide for the pond plant trade.