Cephalophilon capitatum (Buch.-Ham. Ex D.Don) Tzvelev
Polygonum capitatum Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
Polygonum repens Meisn.
Polygonum robynsii De Wild.
Truellum capitatum (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) P.D.Sell
Persicaria capitata is an evergreen perennial plant forming a clump of creeping, much-branched stems that become more or less woody at the base. The stems often form roots at leaf nodes, producing a dense mat of growth about 15cm high[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine - it has proved very effective in treating urinary tract infections and is widely used in China. It is also often cultivated as an ornamental, where cultivars such as 'Magic Carpet' can be used to form a ground cover.
Cultivated as an ornamental, the plant sometimes escapes from cultivation and has become naturalized in many parts of the world from warm temperate regions to the tropics. It is considered invasive in Hawaii[
E. Asia - southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia.
Mountain slopes, shaded places in valleys; at elevations from 600 - 3,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Persicaria capitata is not a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to around -5 to -8°c when fully dormant[
Plants can often be found growing in very inhospitable places and poor soils such as cracks in the pavement, rocks etc[
The plant usually spreads freely in cultivation and can be invasive[
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[
The juice of the plant is taken as a treatment for stomach disorders[
A paste made from the plant is applied as a poultice on boils, wounds[
Aqueous or ethanolic extracts of the plant possess antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hypothermia, diuretic, and anti-oxidative activities[
]. The plant has been widely used, with considerable therapeutic efficacy, in the treatment of various urologic disorders including urinary calculus and urinary tract infections[
A number of drugs based on this plant (e.g., Relinqing Granule and Milin Capsule) have been approved by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration[
Chemical investigations have shown the presence of triterpenoids, steroids, fatty acid esters, flavonoids, gallic acid and its analogues, as well as other phenolic compounds[
The plant makes a dense mat of growth and is an excellent ground cover[