BOGBEAN

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

Menyanthes trifoliata

Bogbean Family [Menyanthaceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5(5-6)
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZfringed
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
sex
sexZbisexual
sex
sexZheterostylous

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, Seathwaite Tarn, Duddon Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Bogbean likes to grow in hill tarns.


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
 Pin flowers. The trefoil leaves are above water-level.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
 Pin flowers. Sepals on as yet un-opened flower buds are brownish and semi-circular. As-yet unopened flower buds are reddish and cylindrical.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Fell Tarn, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
 Pin flowers. Sepals on mature flowers are greeny-brownish, longish and tapering to a blunt tip. The style plus greenish-yellow discoidal stigma at the top exceed the height of the stamens (hidden below by petals) making this specimen a pin-type flower.


25th May 2012, Coniston Water, Wrostlers Barn. Photo: © RWD
 Pin flowers. In full flower.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
 Thrum flowers. A little passed their best. The sepals are now longer as it thinks about turning to fruit.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
 Thrum flowers. The petals are fringed around the periphery. Anthers brown and shaped like x-chromosomes and are taller than the lower and hidden style making this a thrum-type flower.


31st May 2007, Torver Common, Torver, Coniston. Photo: © RWD
 Thrum flowers. Strangely, this one has 6 petals rather than the usual 5. The style is still not visible below the anthers even from above, but it must be there somewhere; this is a thrum-type flower.


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


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
This specimen is branched just below water level, where the three stems join the horizontal underwater runner.


1st May 2009, Muncaster Tarn, Eskdale Valley, Ravenglass. Photo: © RWD
Whereas this specimen is branched just above water level.


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Fruiting specimens.


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The brown spherical fruits look like miniature onions.


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
One of the fruits has split open to several and release the few fawn-coloured seeds within. [Growing with oodles of Lesser Bladderwort which your Author failed to spot at the time, one of which is on the right].


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Seeds within the brown fruits.


10th July 2018, Cat Cove, Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Fruits as yet unopened anomalously floating on the water.


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.

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, 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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