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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

Tender young leaves and shoots - raw or cooked. Used as a vegetable[2]. Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize. The ripe fruits (seeds) are eaten fresh, especially by children[2].

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Polygonum perfoliatum.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant is depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. It is also used to stimulate blood circulation[3]. A decoction is used in the treatment of dysentery, enteritis, boils and abscesses, poisonous snake bites, haematuria, cloudy urine and traumatic injuries[3]. The juice of the leaves is used in the treatment of backaches[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.

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



Cultivation

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it is hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. We are not sure if it is a perennial or annual. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[4] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade[5]. Repays generous treatment[4].

Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Polygonum perfoliatum. 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 perfoliatum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Polygonum perfoliatum
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
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
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. ? 2.02.12.22.32.4 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    4. ? 4.04.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    5. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    6. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
    8. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)