Menanthes trifoliata




pronounced: men-ee-an-THAY-see-eye

the buckwheat or marshwort family

The family name is derived from the Greek μηνανθος (ménanthos), a dwarf waterlily, whose name in turn is derived from μην (mén), a month, or perhaps μηνη (méné), a moon, and ανθος (anthos), a flower. The family consists of aquatic perennial herbs, with leaves above the water level, surfacing or (rarely) submerged; the leaves are usually alternate, simple, orbicular, sometimes slightly succulent, cordate or reniform, the margins entire, dentate or crenate, the venation palmate. There are no stipules, and the petiole bases are sheathing. Flowers are nearly always pentamerous, the corolla lobes united. There are 5 stamens, free, alternating with the petals. The ovary is single-celled, and superior. The fruit is a capsule, which might or might not be dehiscent.



Illustration by Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen, via Wikimedia Commons