Menyanthes trifoliata


Горчлива детелина



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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Menyanthes trifoliata





Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

EN – Endangered, B1ab(i,ii,v)+2ab(i,ii,v)

Date assessed

November 2019


Kostadinovski, M.


Čarni, A.


Matevski, V.

Ćušterevska, R.

Cvetkoska, C.


Hofman, M.P.G.


Menyanthes trifoliata has a very limited distribution in North Macedonia, and is under threat of infrastructure developments, habitat loss due to water management regimes, and tourism development. The number of locations is three, with an inferred continuing decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and number of mature individuals (the subpopulation in locality Shum is destroyed).

The Global IUCN Red list Assessment is LC.


Current population trend



The biggest part of the populations of Menyanthes trifoliata in N. Macedonia is located within the National Park Mavrovo. So far, no precise measurements and estimations have been undertaken about the populations of the species in N. Macedonia. However, field observations from 2019 show that the population from village Shum (near to Struga) has completely disappeared, while the population from Mavrovo is affected by water fluctuations and has decreased due to lowered water level.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

Marsilea trifoliata grows at the shallow margins of lakes and marshes, particularly in acid or oligotrophic water conditions. In North Macedonia the species grows on wet, marsh sites, between 700-1.550 m altitude. Suitable habitats are different types of wetlands: bogs, peatlands, permanent and seasonal freshwater pools.

Use and trade

Use and trade

Menyanthes trifoliata is used in official and folk medicine for various purposes – as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-haemorrhagic, antiemetic, laxative, carminative, anti-rheumatic, tonic, stomachic, and an infusion can be taken for constipation and rheumatism, for chronic inflammatory conditions (Quattrocchi, 2012). Тhe drug consists of dried leaves (Trifoliae fibini folia).

This species in N. Macedonia is not collected for medicinal or other purposes. However, in the Study of Revaluation of the Mavrovo National Park (2011), M. trifoliata is listed in the group of rare medicinal plants in the park and need to be provided special conditions for their natural reproduction or cultivation within the boundaries of the national park.



Almost all of the sites where Menyanthes trifoliata is found are exposed to some kind of threats. In the Ohrid-Prespa region, the main threats are intensive construction activities and tourism near the habitats in which the species appears. The population from village Shum (near to Struga) has completely disappeared, with the construction of an open reservoir in the zone of the population of this species.

According to Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of the Republic of North Macedonia, (2014), on the mountain Deshat (Lokuf) there is determined degradation or fragmentation of habitats. But the actual condition of the population is stable (about 50 individuals in square meter on 0,8ha).

The population of mountain belt in the NP Mavrovo is under pressure because of construction activities (ski centres, antennas, etc.), and the population along the shoreline of Mavrovo Lake has been decreasing due to water fluctuations.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

The biggest part of the populations of Menyanthes trifoliata in North Macedonia is located within the National Park Mavrovo. According to the management plan of this protected area, collection of the species is controlled. Also, it is one of the species which is listed to be monitored in Mavrovo National Park. It is stated as a medicinal plant, for which it is strongly recommended and advised to provide for conditions for their natural reproduction or their cultivation.

M. trifoliata is listed to Annex D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation 318-2008, and live specimens of this species as well as all live or dried parts of its (roots, stems, leaves, seeds and fruits) are subject to this regulation.

Recently, the habitat of this species of Deshat was exposed to eutrophication from the nearby sheepfold, but after the intervention, the sheepfold was dislocated.

This case is considered as a positive example of undertaking preventive measures for the purpose of endangered species conservation (Fifth national report to the CBD of the Republic of N. Macedonia, 2014).

 For all populations the following activities should be undertaken:

  • Habitat protection (for populations that are beyond the boundaries of national parks)

  • Site, or species management (to consider which of these activities is more appropriate for each of the populations)

  • Ex-situ conservation

  • Law compliance and enforcement on national and sub-national level

In addition, it is necessary to constantly work on education and awareness for all stakeholders.



Matevski, V. 2010. Flora na Republika Makedonija. MANU. Skopje, 2(1): 1-190. .p 1-190.

Soška, Th. 1939. Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Schluchten floren von Südserbien, II . .p 35-58.

Vandas, C. 1909. Reliquiae Formanekianae Brunae, Typis J. Jelínek,. .p /.

Grecescu D. 1899. Plantes de la Macédoine appartenant au vilayet de Monastir recuillies par Michel Dimonié. .p /.

Petkov, S. 1910. Vodnata i vodoraslata flora na jugozapadna Makedonija . .p /.

Černjavski, P. 1943. Prilog za poznavanje šire okoline Ohridskog Jezera. . .p 11-88.

Bornmüller, J. 1925-1928. Beitrage zur Flora Mazedoniens . .p /.

Em, H. 1957. Močurišni vrbak od Mavrovsko Pole . .p 13-19.

Akhani, H. 2019. Menyanthes trifoliata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . .p /.

Quattrocchi, U., . 2012. CRC World Dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants. Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC . .p /.

Grecescu, D. 1907. Plantae macedonicae din vilaieturile Monastir şi Salonic . .p 27-136.