Scientific name

Hydrocharis L.

Common names

frogbit, kilpukka, floating frogbit



Similar genera

Heteranthera (some), Hydrocleys, Limnobium, Limnocharis

Native distribution

Europe, Asia, Africa

Species cultivated

Hydrocharis dubia (Blume) Backer

H. morsus-ranae L.

Adventive distribution

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae is introduced into the United States, Australia, and Canada.

Weed status

Hydrocharis dubia Backer and H. morsus-ranae are considered weeds in several countries.


creeping, stoloniferous plant with floating and emergent leaves

Brief description

Perennial. Stolons creeping, originating from leaf axils. Stipules distinctive. Leaves floating or emergent, in rosettes widely spaced along stolon, petiolate; leaf blade ovate to orbicular, venation palmate with cross-veins; base cordate to reniform; margin entire; aerenchyma present at base of leaf. Inflorescence subtended by spathe of 1 or 2 bracts. Flowers unisexual; male flowers sessile, 1-4 per spathe; female flowers pedicellate, solitary; sepals 3; petals 3. Dispersal by seed and stem fragments.

Natural habitat

shallow waters of swamps, ponds, and lakes

Additional comments

Hydrocharis dubia is considered threatened in some regions of the world and weedy in others. Hydrocharis chevalieri (de Wildeman) Dandy is a mostly emergent, African species that is not cultivated at present.