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
Tender young leaves and shoots - raw or cooked. Used as a vegetable
Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize. The ripe fruits (seeds) are eaten fresh, especially by children
There are no material uses listed for Polygonum perfoliatum.
The whole plant is depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. It is also used to stimulate blood circulation
. A decoction is used in the treatment of dysentery, enteritis, boils and abscesses, poisonous snake bites, haematuria, cloudy urine and traumatic injuries
The juice of the leaves is used in the treatment of backaches
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.
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 but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment.
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits
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.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
? 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)
? 3.03.13.2 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
? 4.04.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)