Crested Floating Heart: Deceivingly Beautiful

Much like Fanwort, Crested Floating Heart is an aquatic weed that is beautiful.

By  •  • 3 minute read

Much like Fanwort, Crested Floating Heart is an aquatic weed that is beautiful. With a heart-shaped leaf and a white flower, it’s easy to mistake this harmful weed for a captivating addition to your pond.

John and Lisa own a private pond in their backyard in South Carolina. One morning in May, they were having coffee on their deck When Lisa commented on how lovely the new flowers looked floating in their pond. John agreed. About a week later, they both noticed that more and more of the big leaves and white flowers had started to take over their pond.

John decided to give us a call because it seemed odd that more would bloom so quickly. We soon figured out that is was Crested Floating Heart. Crested Floating Heart is usually found rooted in the submersed sediments in water less than two feet deep to about ten feet deep with the leaf and flower floating on the surface.

Crested Floating Heart (White Snowflake) is a perennial, emergent aquatic plant that grows best in tropical to subtropical climates where it resides in ponds, lakes, canals, and parts of rivers with a low current flow. It is an invasive and aggressive plant that is worthy of outcompeting native vegetation by making dense floating canopies. That shading can cause critical declines in algae, disturbing the entire food web. Crested Floating Heart will also affect water sports, fishing, and swimming.

John asked how he could get rid of it. Could he pull it out by hand? Or rake the plant until none is left? We explained that its vegetative reproduction happens many different ways, including tubers, daughter plants, rhizomes, and fragmentation. It can be spread by boat, boat trailers, flowing water, and the wind. So even if he thought he got it all, fragments could be made easily. He told us they have a boat they use frequently and didn’t want to take that chance.

He then asked us what would be the best option. We told him that with our monthly membership, we could guarantee his pond would be beautiful and healthy for generations to come.


  • Crested floating heart (Nymphoides cristata) reproduces vegetatively from tubers, daughter plants, rhizomes and small fragments.
  • Its small white flowers bloom from about May to September.
  • Each flower has five petals with ruffled crests that resemble a rooster’s comb.
  • Heart-shaped leaves float on the water’s surface, helped by slim tuberous roots that are usually submerged in sediment.
  • Crested Floating Heart can grow in shallow drainage ditches and on shorelines. While not likely, it also has been found to thrive in 10 feet or more of water.
  • Its family name is Menyanthaceae, Buckbean
  • It is found in South Carolina but not in North Carolina
  • It has fruit. The fruit is an oblong capsule that can contain up to 20 smooth, rounded seeds.
  • Prevention is the best management practice for this aquatic plant

Taking care of your lake or pond is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. As your local pond management professionals, we’ve been there. Let us help guide you as a member to protect, plan, and preserve your pond or lake if you live in the Charlotte NC, Asheville NC, and Greenville SC areas.

Get started. And become a member today!

Filed in: Algae Aquatic Weeds , Pond Management , Lake Management & Greenville SC • Tags: Aquatic Weeds , Pond Management , Lake Management & Greenville SC

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