BOGBEAN

BUCKBEAN (YORKSHIRE & CUMBERLAND), THREEFOLD (Yorkshire), MARSH TREFOIL

Menyanthes trifoliata

Bogbean Family [Menyanthaceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZfringed
stem
stem8round

10th July 2009, Innominate Tarn, flanks of Haystacks, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Bogbean enjoys being thoroughly waterlogged mainly in shallow acidic upland water or quagmires.


10th July 2009, Innominate Tarn, flanks of Haystacks, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
It spreads by horizontal runners.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The rootstock is thick.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The trefoil leaves are above water-level.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Data, place, where Photo: © RWD
Sepals on as yet un-opened flower buds are brown and semi-circular. Buds are reddish.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sepals on mature flowers are greeny-brownish, longish and tapering to a blunt tip.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
A little passed their best.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
The petals are fringed around the periphery. Anthers brown and shaped like x-chromosomes.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
Strangely, this one has 6 petals rather than the usual 5.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are trefoil, albeit rather large.


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 Foliamenthyn Dihydrofoliamenthin, Menthiafolin and Loganin. Some pyradine alkaloids including Gentianine and the coumarins Scopoletin and Scoparone.

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, perivine and catharanthine.


Menthiafolin is another poisonous  Secoiridoid Glycoside found within Bogbean.

COUMARINS


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 Galactose.


  Menyanthes trifoliata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Menyanthaceae  

Distribution
family8bogbean family8Menyanthacaea

 BSBI maps
genus8menyanthes
Menyanthes
(Bogbean)

BOGBEAN

BUCKBEAN (YORKSHIRE & CUMBERLAND), THREEFOLD (Yorkshire), MARSH TREFOIL

Menyanthes trifoliata

Bogbean Family [Menyanthaceae]  

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