Frogbit

©Lizzie Wilberforce

Frogbit

Scientific name: Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
Frogbit looks like a mini water-lily as it floats on the surface of ponds, lakes and still waterways. It offers shelter to tadpoles, fish and dragonfly larve.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 5cm
Spread: 20cm

Conservation status

Classified as Vulnerable on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.

When to see

July to August

About

Frogbit is an attractive aquatic plant that floats on the surface of ponds, lakes and still waterways. Looking like a small water-lily, it is in bloom during July and August. In the winter, it becomes dormant and its buds are buried in the mud at the bottom of the pond. When it grows back, it provides shelter for tadpoles, small fish and dragonfly larvae.

How to identify

Frogbit has rosettes of small, kidney-shaped leaves that surround a three-petalled, white flower with a yellow centre. The petals look thin and crumpled, and are often tinged with brown underneath.

Distribution

Found in England and Wales.

Did you know?

Frogbit is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but was introduced into Canada in the 1930s and has become an invasive pest, especially around the Great Lakes of North America which border Canada.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.