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Useful Tropical Plants

Persicaria lapathifolia

(L.) Delarbre

Polygonaceae


This species is better known in the literature as Polygonum lapathifolium[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Dioctis maculatum Raf.

Dioctis vernum Raf.

Discolenta lapathifolia Raf.

Discolenta scabra Raf.

Persicaria attenuata pulchra (Blume) K.L.Wilson

Persicaria brittingeri Opiz

Persicaria hypanica (Klokov) Tzvelev

Persicaria lapathifolia (L.) Gray

Persicaria linicola (Sutulov) Nenukow

Persicaria maculata Gray

Persicaria oneillii Brenckle

Persicaria pulchra (Blume) Soják

Persicaria saporoviensis (Klokov) Tzvelev

Persicaria scabra (Moench) Moldenke

Persicaria tomentosa (Schrank) E.P.Bicknell

Peutalis incana Raf.

Peutalis nodosa (Pers.) Raf.

Peutalis scabra Raf.

Pogalis tomentosa Raf.

Polygonum andrzejowskianum Klokov

Polygonum biforme Wahlenb.

Polygonum brittingeri Opiz

Polygonum ferrugineum patagonicum (Speg.) Macloskie

Polygonum glandulosum Kit.

Polygonum hypanicum Klokov

Polygonum incanum F.W.Schmidt

Polygonum incarnatum Elliott

Polygonum lapathifolium L.

Polygonum linicola Sutulov

Polygonum mariae V.N.Vassil.

Polygonum nodosum Pers.

Polygonum paniculatum Andrz.

Polygonum pensylvanicum oneilii (Brenckle) Hultén

Polygonum persicaria biforme (Wahlenb.) Fr.

Polygonum persicaria incanum Roth

Polygonum pulchrum Blume

Polygonum saporoviense Klokov

Polygonum scabrum Moench

Polygonum spectabile patagonica Speg.

Polygonum tomentosum Schrank

Polygonum tomentosum Willd.

Polygonum utriculatum Remy

Common Name: Curlytop Knotweed

Persicaria lapathifolia
Flowering stems
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia Persicaria lapathifolia

General Information

Persicaria lapathifolia is an erect, annual plant growing up to 180cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and soap.

Known Hazards

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[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, including Britain; tropical and subtropical Africa; tropical and subtropical Asia.

Habitat

Swampy thickets, shores, damp clearings and cultivated fields in N. America[
43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
]. Marshy ground to elevations of 1,500 metres in Nepal[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height1.20 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

The plant can be found from the temperate zone through to the tropics.
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Repays generous treatment[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Stems in contact with damp soil or water may develop adventitious roots from the nodes[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Young leaves - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Eaten as a vegetable[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Medicinal

The whole plant is antiseptic and astringent[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of stomach complaints, VD and fevers[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
,
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].
The plant produces a soft white mass, a froth like that of soap. It is applied externally to burns[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

Other Uses

The plant produces a soft white mass, a froth like that of soap. It is used for bathing and washing clothes[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

Propagation

Seed - germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out when they have reached sufficient size.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-25. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Persicaria+lapathifolia>

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