Menyanthes trifoliata

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaMenyanthaceaeMenyanthesMenyanthes trifoliata


M. trifoliata is a rhizomatous perennial which grows as an emergent at the shallow edge of lakes, pools or slow-flowing rivers, or in swamps, flushes or dune-slacks. It tolerates a wide range of water chemistry, but is intolerant of shade. 0-1005 m (Beinn Heasgarnich, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 10

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1201

Life form information

Height (cm): 30

Length: 150

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)

Life Form - secondary

Perennial hydrophyte (perennial water plant)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1905

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 756

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5

Atlas Change Index: -0.04

Weighted Changed Factor: 6

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (210b)
Hewett DG
1964.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 97. Menyanthes trifoliata L. Journal of Ecology. 52:723-735.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Preston CD, Croft JM
1997.  Aquatic plants in Britain and Ireland.