Attracting Elephant Hawk Moths by planting Menyanthes Trifoliata (Bog Bean)

Attracting Elephant Hawk Moths By Planting Menyanthes Trifoliata (Bog Bean)

The great thing about water gardening is the amount of wildlife that water can attract to your garden.  Menyanthes Trifoliata, commonly known as Bog Bean, can be grown in any sized pond.  This marginal plant also known as Marsh Trefoil and Buck bean, produces leaves that are the food source for the larvae (Caterpillars, of the attractive, pink colored, Elephant Hawk Moth.

Bog Bean produces long narrow rootstock/rhizomes that grows happily in bogs or submerged up to a water depth of 60 cm.  In deeper water, the rootstock grows to the surface where it continues branching out and floating/rafting across the water surface, forming dense floating islands of foliage that have attractive,three lobed green leaves.  These leaves have been harvested throughout time and used for many medicinal purposes.

Menyanthes grows wild throughout the northern hemisphere and can commonly be found in lakes, ponds, bog-lands and open wetland.  In late spring, it puts on a stunning show of fringed, pale pink, star shaped flowers that emerge from attractive, dark pink buds.

Elephant Hawk Moths are one of our most colorful insects in the UK, and the caterpillars of this species are also simply stunning and grow to a length of 7.6 cm (3 inches).  The larvae look like elephant trunks (hence the name), and like many other moth larvae, have dark eye spots near the head.  This mimicry is a wonder of evolution and designed to make the caterpillar look like a small snake or other predator.

Menyanthes Trifoliata (Bog Bean) is available to buy from March on wards from our website or by visiting us at our retail nursery Lilies Water Gardens in Surrey.

Please visit our website to see our range of over 750 pond plants and water garden plants (largest in the UK) available to buy online, we also carry all the planting accessories needed to maintain healthy pond plants and Algae Treatments to bring clarity to your water garden throughout the spring and summer.