Amblygonum bungeanum (Turcz.) P.D.Sell
Polygonum bungeanum Turcz.
Polygonum chanetii H.Lév.
Polygonum pensylvanicum Bunge
Polygonum bungeanum is an annual plant with an erect or ascending, branched, prickly stem; it can grow from 30 - 80cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
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[
E. Asia - Russian Far East, eastern China, Japan, Korea.
Sands amongst osier beds, near rice field canals, cultivated land etc[
]. Grassy valleys, near fields and roadsides; at elevations from 50 - 1,700 metres[
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[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
We have no specific information for this species, but the seed of most, if not all, members of the genus is edible both raw and cooked, and is potentially a good source of amino acids. Unfortunately the seed is also usually rather small and fiddly to utilize[
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.