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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) - whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - raw or cooked. The young shoots are eaten in the spring[2]. Seed - cooked[3]. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Leaves

Material uses

Tannin is obtained from the plant[4]. No more details, but it is likely to be from the root.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant, but especially the root, is astringent, depurative, skin[4][5][3][6].

An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used to treat stomach pains and children with diarrhoea[2].

The root has been eaten raw, or an infusion of the dried, pounded roots used, in the treatment of chest colds[2]. A poultice of the fresh roots has been applied directly to the mouth to treat blisters[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Polygonum amphibium. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A water or marsh plant growing in water up to 3 metres deep or in boggy soil[7].

This species is hardy to about -25°c[7]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[8]. The leaves are often attacked by the larvae of the water-lily beetle[7].

Plants can either be aquatic with floating ovate-oblong leaf-blades or a leggy marsh plant with lanceolate leaves[7]. Their stems root at the nodes wherever they come into contact with the soil[9].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Polygonum amphibium. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Polygonum amphibium.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Polygonum amphibium
Genus
Polygonum
Family
Polygonaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
aquatic
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P. Forest Flora of Srinagar. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1976-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    6. ? 6.06.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    8. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)