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Polygonum multiflorum - Thunb.

Common Name He Shou Wu, Tuber fleeceflower
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
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 Woods, north to latitude 42° 30' north[74]. Along the banks of streams and in valley shrub thickets[147].
Range E. Asia - China.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Polygonum multiflorum He Shou Wu, Tuber fleeceflower


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fanghong
Polygonum multiflorum He Shou Wu, Tuber fleeceflower
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Badagnani

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonum multiflorum is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 4.5 m (14ft 9in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from September to October, and the seeds ripen from October to November. 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

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root  Seed
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize[105]. Flowers[179]. No more details are given. Root - cooked[2, 177]. It should be washed several times in order to leech out the bitterness[179]. This process will also remove many of the vitamins and minerals from the roots[K]. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails[105].

References

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.
Antibacterial  Anticholesterolemic  Antipyretic  Antispasmodic  Antitumor  Astringent  Cardiotonic  Demulcent  
Deobstruent  Hypoglycaemic  Laxative  Sedative  Tonic

He Shou Wu is considered to be one of the most important of the Chinese herbal tonics and is widely used in that country[218]. It is said to restore vitality and virility[174], working especially on the liver and the reproductive, urinary and circulatory systems[238]. Some care should be exercised, however, since excessive doses can cause skin rash and numbness of the extremities[238]. The roots and stems are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent, depurative, hypoglycaemic, laxative, sedative, tonic[116, 147, 174, 176, 238, 279]. The roots are taken internally in the treatment of menstrual and menopausal complaints, constipation in the elderly, swollen lymph glands and high cholesterol levels[238]. They are very effective in reducing high cholesterol levels in the blood and increase blood sugar levels[254]. Externally, they are used to treat ringworm, bleeding wounds and sores[238]. The roots are harvested in the autumn, preferably from plants 3 - 4 years old, and are dried for later use[238]. The leaves and roots tonify the liver and kidneys, fortify the blood, strengthen the muscles and prevent premature greying of the hair[218]. The stem is deobstruent and sedative[218]. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia and neurasthenia whilst it is applied externally to ringworm[176, 238]. The stems are harvested in late summer or early autumn and are dried for later use[238]. Extracts of the plant have shown antipyretic, antitumour, hypoglycaemic and sedative activity[218].

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade[200]. Repays generous treatment[1]. This species is hardy to at least -15°c[238]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. There is a suggestion that this plant might be dioecious[178], in which case male and female plants will need to be grown if seed is required.

References

Temperature Converter

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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 alpinumAlpine Knotweed, Alaska wild rhubarbPerennial1.0 4-8  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 nepalenseNepalese smartweedAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe11 
Polygonum orientalePrince's Feather, Kiss me over the garden gateAnnual1.5 0-0  LMHSNM220
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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

Thunb.

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Subject : Polygonum multiflorum  
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