Frogbit - Hydrocharis morsus-ranae

Alternative names

It is a small floating plant resembling a small water lily. It bears small, three-petalled white flowers. The floating leaves are kidney-shaped and grow in rosettes on the water surface, with the roots hanging down into the water column but not normally touching bottom.

Identification difficulty

Still or slow moving freshwater habitats such as ponds and canals.

When to see it

Flowers in July and August.

Life History

Perennial. Frogbit is fast growing and spreads rapidly by stolons. It surviving the winter by dormant turions (a specialised overwintering bud) which rest on the bottom, rising again to the surface in spring.

UK Status

Widespread, but occasional plant which is more frequent in the southern half of Britain. It can become quite prolific in areas where it becomes established.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland, but as introduced species (Grantham Canal). In the The Flora of Leicestershire (Primavesi & Evans) it was found in just 3 of the 617 tetrads.

It was on the 2011 VC55 Rare Plant Register (Jeeves, 2011) but is not on the current RPR (Hall & Woodward, 2022) because records are of introduced plants

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
04/10/2012 (Cooper, Barbara)
Last record:
15/08/2018 (Charity, Kenneth)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records