Bogbean

Menyanthes trifoliata

About

The starry white flowers of Bogbean can bring the green waters of a pond to life in spring. Found in shallow ponds, fens, bogs and marshes, this aquatic perennial blooms from March until June. Its common name comes from the leaves which are shaped a little like those of broad beans, but it doesn't really do this attractive flower justice.

How to identify

The flower spikes of Bogbean grow above the water on stems that can grow as tall as 30cm. The flowers themselves are white, tinged with pink, and star-shaped with a ragged fringe. The emergent leaves are trifoliate, having three oval leaflets.

Where to find it

Common throughout the UK, except in the east of England.

Habitats

When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and development, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: add native plants and flowers, such as Bogbean, to a wildlife-friendly pond and its margins, and provide shelter for amphibians and nectar for insects. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Bogbean
Latin name
Menyanthes trifoliata
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status
Common.