Native SpeciesLittle floating heart

Nymphoides cordata
ID Questioned
Quality checked by Peter Quigley
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
We were looking by ken's house for queen anne's lace. We didn't find that in particular but we found something that kind of looked like it.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The shape is very similar although I did not find it in it's regular habitat.
Photo of my evidence.
Shapes nearly the same, one leaf per stem, heart shaped, and smooth.
Photo of my evidence.
It may not be the same, not being a floating plant that is.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Nymphoides cordata
Common name:
Little floating heart
Count of individuals: 
Between 1/2 and 3/4
Flower (plants)
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 44.137642 °
W -69.708925 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Field
Trip Information
Trip date: 
Thu, 2010-10-07 11:00
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Lower Kennebec
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
0 different species
Evidence of vectors: 
Tree canopy cover: 
Soil moisture: 


I thought I recognized this plant and sure enough, I have one. This is a common household plant which is often referred to as "Imperial White". I think PGregory gives some great advice and information on how invasive species begin. One action that I have begun since learning more about invasive species is to talk with my local botanist (at Skillin's) about whether or not a species (particularly anything I am planting outside) is invasive or native and whether or not it might eventually be harmful. Of course, I do a lot of my own research now as well.

Just to add to my previous comment, the exact species of the houseplant is "Syngonium podophyllum".

What you've got there is a common house plant. I've seen bazillions of them potted everywhere, but, regretably, I cannot identify it for you.

But that brings up an important point.

Many invasive species--some, the nastiest we have to contend with today--start out in Maine as an ornamental plant in someone's flower or water garden. Take hydrilla or purple loosestrife (please!). Commercial distributors saw these as cash crops desireable to aquarium fans and to flower gardeners because they're attractive and they grow well (indeed they do!).

So when on safari for invasive plant species, don't forget to explore domestic habitats such as potted plants or water gardens. That's where invasive species often first check into their newly adopted environments. --P. Gregory