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Polygonum alpinum - All.

Common Name Alpine Knotweed, Alaska wild rhubarb
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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].
Habitats Damp meadows, wood margins and mixed grass steppes[74]. Open humus-rich slopes, 2200 - 2700 metres in Kashmir[145].
Range Europe to E. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Polygonum alpinum Alpine Knotweed, Alaska wild rhubarb


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dalgial
Polygonum alpinum Alpine Knotweed, Alaska wild rhubarb
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Carstor

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonum alpinum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. undulatum

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses: Drink

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 145]. They have an acid flavour and can be used as a sorrel substitute[74]. The chopped leaves and stems have been added to a thick pudding of flour and sugar then eaten[257]. Leaf stems - raw or cooked. An acid flavour, they can be cut into sections and used like rhubarb (Rheum spp)[257]. The juice from the plant has been sweetened and used as a refreshing drink[257]. Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Pectoral

The whole plant is astringent[74]. The raw roots and stem bases have been chewed as a treatment for coughs and colds[257].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade[200]. Grows well near water[1]. Repays generous treatment[1]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Plants can be invasive but they are easily controlled by spading around the clump[200].

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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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Polygonum alaskanumAlaska Wild RhubarbPerennial1.8 -  LMHSNM21 
Polygonum amphibiumWillow Grass, Water knotweed, Longroot smartweed, Water smartweedPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHSNWeWa120
Polygonum arenastrumSmall-Leaved Knotweed, Oval-leaf knotweedAnnual0.3 4-8  LMHSNM230
Polygonum aviculareKnotweed, Prostrate knotweedAnnual0.3 4-8  LMHSNM230
Polygonum barbatumJoint WeedPerennial0.8 -  LMHSNM11 
Polygonum bistortaBistort, Meadow bistort, SnakeweedPerennial0.5 4-7 FLMHSNMWe332
Polygonum bistortoidesAmerican BistortPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNM31 
Polygonum bungeanumBunge's smartweedAnnual0.8 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Polygonum coccineumWater SmartweedPerennial0.5 4-8  LMHSNWeWa10 
Polygonum conspicuum Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNM10 
Polygonum convolvulusBlack BindweedAnnual1.2 0-0  LMHSNM100
Polygonum divaricatum Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNDM10 
Polygonum douglasiiKnotweed, Douglas' knotweed, Austin knotweed, Engelmann's knotweed, Johnston's knotweed, Large knoAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHSNDM20 
Polygonum dumetorumClimbing false buckwheatAnnual1.8 0-0  LMHSNM11 
Polygonum equisetiforme Perennial1.0 7-10  LMHNDM10 
Polygonum fugax Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Polygonum hydropiperSmartweed, Marshpepper knotweedAnnual0.8 0-0  LMHNWeWa22 
Polygonum japonicumJapanese Knotweed, Mexican Bamboo, Japanese KnotweedPerennial3.0 4-10 FLMHSNM330
Polygonum lapathifoliumCurlytop KnotweedAnnual0.8 4-8  LMHSNMWe110
Polygonum limosum Perennial1.8 -  LMHSNM10 
Polygonum longisetumOriental lady's thumbAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Polygonum maackianum Annual0.8 -  LMHSNMWe10 
Polygonum manshurienseAsian BistortPerennial0.8 -  LMHSNMwe01 
Polygonum microcephalum Perennial0.5 -  LMHSNM10 
Polygonum minusPygmy smartweedAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Polygonum molle Perennial2.5 6-9 FLMHSNM21 
Polygonum multiflorumHe Shou Wu, Tuber fleeceflowerPerennial Climber4.5 6-9  LMHSNM23 
Polygonum nepalenseNepalese smartweedAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe11 
Polygonum orientalePrince's Feather, Kiss me over the garden gateAnnual1.5 0-0  LMHSNM220
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Botanical References

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Subject : Polygonum alpinum  
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