Nymphoides peltata | Fringed Water-lily | Scéithín uisce



Conservation status

Least Concern

Legal status

Third Schedule listed species under Regulations 49 & 50 in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011. (Note: Regulation 50 not yet enacted). Listed as a schedule 9 species under Articles 15 & 15A of the Wildlife Order (Northern Ireland) 1985 (Article 15A not yet enacted).

First reported in the wild



Invasive species - risk of High Impact

Irish status


Introduction pathways - 1

Escape from Confinement

Introduction pathways subclass - 1

Ornamental purpose

Introduction pathways - 2

Escape from Confinement

Invasive score


NAPRA Ireland risk assessed

Yes. This species underwent a  Non-native species APplication based Risk Analysis  in 2014.

Overall risk of this species to Ireland is categorised as: MODERATE to MAJOR with a HIGH level of confidence.

Overall conclusion summary:  The impact of this species is limited to a very few sites in Ireland. Where it is present it is abundant, but the impacts have not been quantified. Its spread is slow, and the impacts on other components of the aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. It is relatively easily controlled in small populations. Therefore, in a national context, it is considered to have a moderate to major risk to native biodiversity, native ecosystems and conservation goals as well as having the potential to cause negative socio-economic impacts in a wide-range of still or slow-flowing waters in Ireland.

 View the full risk assessment:

Species Biology


 Floating aquatic plant, rounded heart-shaped leaves 2 to 5 inches in diameter arranged alternatively on the vegetative stems and are opposite on the flowering stems. Stems up to 1.5m long. Flower has 5 petals that are yellow and with fringed margins.  The flowers are on long stalks rising a few inches above the water. May be confused with other lilies.



To date no impacts recorded in Ireland but that is likely due to its limited distribution and low abundance at sites (Millane & Caffrey, 2014). However much like other aquatic plants that form dense stands it is likely to exclude native plants when abundances are high.


Inland surface waters


Can reproduce vegetatively or by sexual reproduction, though in Sweden vegetative reproduction was found to be the main method of dispersal (Larson, 2007).

Pathway and vector description

Widely sold as an ornamental plant and present in artificial watercourse, ponds and aquaria (Millane & Caffrey, 2014). Subsequently introduced into the wild, by escape during flooding or attached to waterfowl, or deliberately introduced. The potential exists for it to be further dispersed by human mediated mechanisms within Ireland.

Mechanism of impact

Competition, Bio-fouling

Broad environment


Habitat description

Slow moving, freshwater including canals, lakes and ponds (Millane & Caffrey, 2014).

Species group


Native region

Europe, Temperate Asia


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Established - Localised. Locally established and growing abundantly in a number of artificial watercourses, in sheltered bays of lakes and some smaller lakes (Millane & Caffrey, 2014).

Native distribution

Native range extends from Korea to Portugal (Lansdown, 2014).

Temporal change

Date of first record category


Fifty year date category


Records submitted to Data Centre in 2022

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Do not purchase this plant or grow in outdoor ponds. Dispose of garden waste responsibly and never dump aquatic plants in lakes.



Millane, M. & Caffrey, J. (2014). Risk Assessment of Nymphoides peltata (S.G. Gmel.) Kuntze – Fringed Water-lily Prepared for Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

Stace, C. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles 2nd Edition. Cambrige University Press, Cambridge.

Larson, D. (2007). Reproduction strategies in introduced Nymphoides peltata populations revealed by genetic markers. Aquatic Botany, 86(4):402-406.

Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Nymphoides peltata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014:

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Global Invasive Species Database

CABI Datasheet

Risk Assessment of Nymphoides peltata