Latin name: Menyanthes trifoliata

Family: Menyanthaceae

Its name might be a little plain but the bogbean is anything but. Its attractive flowers each has five petals; flushed with pink on the lower surface with a feathered appearance on the upper surface.

The bogbean has a number of traditional uses. Its leaves have been used as a substitute for hops in beer, the rhizome, when powered has been used in bread making and parts of the plant have been used as a treatment for arthritis. The plant also contains a chemical compound which attracts cats.

Bogbean can be found in unpolluted shallow ponds, marsh and fen habitats throughout the UK. In the Yorkshire Dales National Park these habitats are often small and scattered but the boardwalk through the alkaline fen on the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve is an excellent place to see bogbean in flower between May and July.

At risk?

Bogbean is listed as a species of conservation concern by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

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The unfolding of Grass Wood throughout the year is a story of rich fulfilment. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

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