Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Menyanthes trifoliata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MenyanthaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, +- 70 species: worldwide.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert F. Thorne, C. Barre Hellquist & William J. Stone
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MenyanthesView Description 


Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: disclosing, flower, from flowers opening in succession in inflorescence)
Menyanthes trifoliata L.
Habit: 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. Chromosomes: 2n=54,108.
Ecology: Ponds, bogs, swamps, wet meadows, seeps, margins of shallow lakes; Elevation: 900--3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: c NCo, KR, CaR, SN (exc Teh), n CCo; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Maine, circumboreal. Flowering Time: May--Aug Note: Leaves sometimes used in beer-making as hops substitute.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert F. Thorne, C. Barre Hellquist & William J. Stone
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Botanical illustration including Menyanthes trifoliata

botanical illustration including Menyanthes trifoliata


Citation for this treatment: Robert F. Thorne, C. Barre Hellquist & William J. Stone 2012, Menyanthes trifoliata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 06, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 06, 2019.

Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2009 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Menyanthes trifoliata
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© 2010 Barry Rice

More photos of Menyanthes trifoliata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Menyanthes trifoliata:
c NCo, KR, CaR, SN (exc Teh), n CCo
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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.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.