Bogbean Family

Annual or perennial aquatic tufted or stoloniferous herbs with air spaces in the stems. Leaves alternate or clustered together (3 leaflets in Menyanthes); stalks usually with a sheathing base; stipules absent or forming stalk wings. Flower clusters sometimes with only a few flowers or flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual, regular, generally opening for 1 day only. Sepals 5, united at the base. Petals 4-5, united at the base and generally fringed or crested, yellow, white or pink.

Stamens the same number as petals and attached to the tube; nectary disk often surrounding the ovary. Ovary superior or half-inferior, of 2 carpels but with 1 chamber and few to many ovules. Fruit a capsule or berry.

Members of this family, which is sometimes included in the Gentianaceae, are used horticulturally as aquatic and wetland herbs and occasionally in aquaria. A few species of Nymphoides have become environmental weeds.

Several species have medicinal uses, Menyanthes being the source of an anti-fever tonic and other beverages; an extract from the rhizomes is used as a treatment for arthritis.

Aquatic and wetland plants with air spaces in the stems; leaves cordate or peltate; flower petals mainly fringed, crested or wavy-edged.

5 genera and about 45 cosmopolitan species. Australia has 2 endemic genera with 30 species.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Menyanthaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Asterales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Menyanthes L.
genus        Nymphoides Hill
genus        Ornduffia
genus        Villarsia Vent.