The industrial use of nanoparticles is rapidly increasing, and this has given rise to concerns about potential biological impacts of engineered particles released into the environment. So far, relatively little is known about uptake, accumulation and responses to engineered nanoparticles by plants. In this study, the effects of alumina nanoparticles on growth, morphology and photosynthesis of Lemna minor were quantified. It was found that alumina nanoparticles substantially increase biomass accumulation of L. minor. Such a stimulatory effect of alumina nanoparticles on growth has not been reported previously. Enhanced biomass accumulation was paralleled by morphological adjustments such as increased root length and number of fronds per colony, and by increased photosynthetic efficiency. Metal nanoparticles have previously been shown to enhance the energy transfer efficiency of isolated reaction centres; therefore it is proposed that the mechanism underlying the alumina mediated enhancement of biomass accumulation in L. minor is associated with increased efficiencies in the light reactions of photosynthesis.