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Robert F. Thorne, C. Barre Hellquist & William J. Stone

Perennial herb [annual], ± aquatic, herbage glabrous; rhizomes thick. Leaf: simple or of 3 leaflets, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole bases sheathing. Inflorescence: various. Flower: bisexual [unisexual], radial; sepals 5, united or not; corolla rotate to funnel-shaped, lobes 5, fringed or coarse-hairy marginally or adaxially or not; stamens 5, epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, anthers sagittate; nectaries generally 5, at ovary base; pistil 1, ovary generally ± superior, chamber 1, stigma 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule [± fleshy], valves 2–4. Seed: few to many, smooth, shiny.
5 genera, ± 70 species: worldwide. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Kadereit, J. W. 2006 [2007]. Asterales: Introduction and Conspectus. Pp. 1–6, in Kadereit, J. W. & Jeffrey, C. (eds.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Volume VIII. Flowering Plants. Eudicots. Asterales. Springer, Berlin; Tippery, N. P. [et al. 2006], Les, D. H., Padgett, D., & Surrey, J. 2006. Clades and grades: An evaluation of generic circumscriptions in Menyanthaceae Dumort. (Asterales). Pp. 262–263, in Botany 2006 - Looking to the Future - Conserving the Past. (Abstracts: Botanical Society of America, etc.)]

Key to Menyanthaceae


1 sp. (Greek: disclosing, flower, from flowers opening in succession in inflorescence)

M. trifoliata L.
Rhizome covered with old leaf bases. Stem: prostrate or flower branches ascending. Leaf: basal, alternate, emergent; leaflets 3, 2–12 cm, 1–5 cm wide, oblong-obovate, ± entire; petioles 5–30 cm; stipules as wing-margins of petiole. Inflorescence: raceme; peduncle 20–40 dm; pedicel 5–25 mm. Flower: calyx persistent, tube short-conic, lobes 5, 2–5 mm, oblong; corolla funnel-shaped, white to pink, tube 5–8 mm, lobes 5–8 mm, spreading, generally ± pink at tip, coarse-hairy adaxially; filaments thread-like, anthers sagittate; style persistent. Fruit: 2-valved, ± ellipsoid. Seed: ± elliptic, ± compressed.
2n=54,108. Ponds, bogs, swamps, wet meadows, seeps, margins of shallow lakes; 900–3200 m. c North Coast, Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada (except Tehachapi Mountain Area), n Central Coast; to Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Maine, circumboreal. Leaves sometimes used in beer-making as hops substitute. May–Aug [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Menyanthes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Menyanthes trifoliata Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.