Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata

Found mostly in the north of Scotland, the bogbean gets its name from its leaves which have a close resemblance to a broad bean. Its distinctive flowers make it easy to spot in its natural habitat of bogs, marshes and shallow waters.

Behaviour

The bogbean’s white star-like flowers, pink-tinged petals and abundance of soft white spikes make its appearance unique. The long green stem rises out of shallow bodies of water and grows the broad bean shaped trifoliate leaves that lend the plant its name.

Size

Height: 20cm – 40 cm

Status

Common

Distribution

Present in the whole of the UK. In Scotland it is most commonly found in northern regions.

When to see

May – July

Facts

  • The bogbean has been used as a herbal remedy to try and cure rheumatoid arthritis, scurvy, upset stomach, indigestion and loss of appetite
  • Chemicals in the plant attracts cats in the same way as catnip
  • The leaves were used in flavouring beer as an alternative to hops

Common name

Bogbean

Species name

Menyanthes trifoliata

When to see in Scotland

May – July

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Grey Hill Grassland and Balgavies Loch.

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