A rooted, floating-leaved plant with a bright yellow flower sphere. In early spring the leaves are below the surface. By late spring the broad, dark green, heart-shaped leaves are floating or standing above the water. Horizontal roots can be six inches thick and several feet long, resembling palm tree trunks.
Reproduction occurs from seed, root growth and fragmented roots. Provided the plant does not reach nuisance levels it has many benefits. Leaves shelter aquatic life and roots feed beaver and muskrats. Seeds and roots are also used for human consumption.
These plants can spread rapidly and chemical control can be expensive.