Uniquely identifiable characteristics : the frayed white flowers and largish trefoil leaves.
Bogbean is a very distinctive plant growing up to a foot above the water level in wet acid upland bogs, marshes, swamps, or fens. Its stems can be floating or sprawling, and up to 5 feet long. The leaves are trefoil (in threes). The flowers are white on the inside and pink on the outside with five petals. The five petals are heavily frayed or fringed with a spray of white straggly whiskers, much more frayed than are those of its only other family member, Fringed Water-lily.
Both green and brown dyes can be extracted from this plant.
In Sweden the leaves are used as a hop substitute in brewing beer for it has a strong bitter taste.
Bogbean contains the bitter triterpenoid saponin Menyanthoside. Also iridoid glycosides
Dihydrofoliamenthin, Menthiafolin and Loganin. Some pyradine alkaloids including Gentianine and the coumarins Scopoletin and Scoparone.
It is Heterostylous, where the flowers, although bisexual, come in two types, thrum and pin. The pin form has a long style and short stamens, the thrum form is the reverse of that.
Loganin is a poisonous iridoid Glycoside found not only in bogbean but also in the fruits of the deadly poisonous Strychnos nux vomica, the plant in which Strychnine was first found. DeoxyLoganin is also present in Bogbean. Loganin is a specific precursor in the plant synthesis of the indole alkaloids Vindoline, |
The closely related coumarins Scopoletin and Scoparone are constituents of Bogbean. Both are toxic.
Braylin is another coumarin related to the above two and has vasorelaxing activity.
Gentianine is toxic alkaloid found in many species belonging to the Gentian family Gentianaceae, to which Bogbean used to belong, but that has since been moved into a Family almost on its own, the Menyanthacaea.
Menyanthoside is a saponin based upon the lupane steroidal triterpene Betulinic Acid. Note the sugars and etcetera are attached at two sites, both originally OH groups.
Glc stands for
Glucose, GlcUA for
GlucoUronic Acid, Api for
Apiose and Gal for