Buckbean


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Buckbean

 

(Menyanthes), a genus of plants of the buck-bean family (earlier assigned to the Gentianaceae family). The buckbean is a perennial herb with a long, creeping, segmented rhizome. All its leaves emerge from the root on long stalks and are ternate. The leafless stem (scape) ends in an elongated brush. The blossoms are white or pinkish, and the fruit is a boll that opens into two folds. There is only one species, the trifoliate buckbean (M. trifoliata), which is found in the northern hemisphere. It grows in marshes and often forms thickets. The leaves of the buckbean contain the glycoside menyanthin. Dried buckbean leaves are sometimes used in the form of an infusion or tea as a bitter principle to stimulate the appetite; this in turn makes up choleretic tea and bitters.

REFERENCE

Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
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