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Useful Temperate Plants

Persicaria amphibia

(L.) Delarbre

Polygonaceae

+ Synonyms

Chulusium amphibium (L.) Raf.

Chulusium fluitans Raf.

Chulusium natans Raf.

Persicaria aboriginum Greene

Persicaria abscissa Greene

Persicaria alismifolia Greene

Persicaria ammophila Greene

Persicaria amurensis Nieuwl.

Persicaria andrewsii Greene

Persicaria asclepiadea Greene

Persicaria canadensis Greene

Persicaria carictorum Nieuwl.

Persicaria chelanica Greene

Persicaria coccinea (Muhl. ex Willd.) Greene

Persicaria covillei Greene

Persicaria cusickii Greene

Persicaria cygnea Greene

Persicaria fistulosa Greene

Persicaria franciscana Greene

Persicaria grandifolia Greene

Persicaria hartwrightii (A.Gray) Greene

Persicaria hesperia Greene

Persicaria homalostachya Greene

Persicaria insignis Greene

Persicaria iowensis Rydb.

Persicaria laetevirens Greene

Persicaria langloisii Greene

Persicaria laurina Greene

Persicaria lonchophylla Greene

Persicaria mesochora Greene

Persicaria muhlenbergii (S.Watson) Small

Persicaria muriculata Greene

Persicaria natans Moldenke

Persicaria nebrascensis Greene

Persicaria novae-angliae Greene

Persicaria ophiophila Greene

Persicaria oregana Greene

Persicaria otophylla Greene

Persicaria plantaginea Greene

Persicaria plattensis Greene

Persicaria porteri Greene

Persicaria pratincola Greene

Persicaria propinqua Greene

Persicaria psychrophila Greene

Persicaria purpurata Greene

Persicaria remota Greene

Persicaria rigidula Greene

Persicaria rothrockii Greene

Persicaria subcoriacea Greene

Persicaria tanaophylla Nieuwl.

Persicaria vestita Greene

Persicaria villosula Greene

Persicaria wardii Greene

Polygonum aboriginum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum abscissum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum alismifolium (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum ammophilum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum amphibium L.

Polygonum amurense (Korsh.) Vorosch.

Polygonum aquaticum A.Gray ex Meisn.

Polygonum arenicola Suksd.

Polygonum asclepiadeum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum canadense (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum cardiophyllum Gand.

Polygonum chelanicum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum coccineum Muhl. ex Willd.

Polygonum covillei (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum cusickii (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum fistulosum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum fluitans Eaton

Polygonum franciscanum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum grandifolium (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum hartwrightii A.Gray

Polygonum hesperium (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum homalostachyum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum insigne (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum inundatum Raf.

Polygonum iowense (Rydb.) Cratty

Polygonum laetevirens (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum lanceolatum Gand.

Polygonum langloisii (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum laurinum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum lonchophyllum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum longifolium Gand.

Polygonum mesochorum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum muhlenbergii S.Watson

Polygonum muriculatum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum natans Gueldenst.

Polygonum novae-angliae (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum ophiophilum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum oreganum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum otophyllum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum plantagineum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum plattense (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum platyphyllum Gand.

Polygonum porteri (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum pratincola (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum propinquum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum psychrophilum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum purpuratum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum remotum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum rigidulum Gand.

Polygonum rothrockii (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum setiferum Gand.

Polygonum spectabile Fedde

Polygonum subcoriaceum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum tenuinaevum Gand.

Polygonum terrestre (Leyss.) Hegetschw.

Polygonum vestitum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum villosulum (Greene) Fedde

Polygonum wardii (Greene) Fedde

Common Name: Willow Grass

No Image.

General Information

Persicaria amphibia is an amphibious perennial plant growing from a rhizomaous rootstock; it produces floating stems that form new roots at the leaf nodes On wet or marshy soils it produces erect stems and can grow up to 30cm tall[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.

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.
,
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.
,
610
Title
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Publication
 
Author
Beentje H.J.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=396814
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
Available on-line, a modern flora of East Africa.

Range

Widespread through the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and N. America

Habitat

Lakes, ponds, slow-flowing rivers and canals, also on banks by the river[
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.
,
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
]. In ponds, along riverbanks, wet fields, waste areas; at elevations from sea level to 3,700 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Persicaria amphibia is a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate temperatures down to around -25°c when fully dormant[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
,
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.
].
A water or marsh plant growing in water up to 3 metres deep or in boggy soil[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].
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.
].
The leaves are often attacked by the larvae of the water-lily beetle[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].
Plants can either be aquatic with floating ovate-oblong leaf-blades or a leggy marsh plant with lanceolate leaves[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
]. Their stems root at the nodes wherever they come into contact with the soil[
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.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked. The young shoots are eaten in the spring[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
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.
,
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
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.
].

Seed - cooked[
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.
]. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Medicinal

The whole plant, but especially the root, is astringent, depurative, skin[
145
Title
Forest Flora of Srinagar.
Publication
 
Author
Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora of the western Himalayas but poorly illustrated. Some information on plant uses.
,
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
,
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.
,
207
Title
The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers.
Publication
 
Author
Coffey. T.
Publisher
Facts on File.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-8160-2624-6
Description
A nice read, lots of information on plant uses.
].

An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used to treat stomach pains and children with diarrhoea[
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.
].

The root has been eaten raw, or an infusion of the dried, pounded roots used, in the treatment of chest colds[
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.
].
A poultice of the fresh roots has been applied directly to the mouth to treat blisters[
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.
].

Other Uses

Tannin is obtained from the plant[
145
Title
Forest Flora of Srinagar.
Publication
 
Author
Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora of the western Himalayas but poorly illustrated. Some information on plant uses.
]. No more details, but it is likely to be from the root.

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.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-01-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Persicaria+amphibia>

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