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European Frog-bit

Photo by Meghan Johnstone, APIPP

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Common Name: European frog-bit
Scientific Name: Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
Origin: Europe


European frog-bit is a free-floating, short-lived perennial. The leaves are leathery and round with undersides that may be dark purple. Flowers are white with yellow centers, and bloom in the summer. The leaf stem of european frog-bit lacks a mid-line groove which distinguishes it from its native look-alike, american frog-bit, Limnobium spongia.


This plant grows well in slow moving or stagnant open water, including marshes, ditches, swamps and sheltered coves.


European frog-bit quickly forms dense mats, which crowds out native plants, limits light penetration and can inhibit recreational use.


Limited information exists on control techniques for this species. Hand pulling may be suitable to control individual plants or small infestations.