Curlytop Knotweed - Polygonum lapathifolium
Herb: Curlytop Knotweed
Latin name: Polygonum lapathifolium
Synonyms: Persicaria lapathifolia, Polygonum scabrum
Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)
Medicinal use of Curlytop Knotweed:The whole plant is antiseptic and astringent. An infusion has been used in the treatment of stomach complaints and fevers. The plant produces a soft white mass, a froth like that of soap. It is applied externally to burns.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Swampy thickets, shores, damp clearings and cultivated fields in N. America.
Edible parts of Curlytop Knotweed:Young leaves - raw or cooked. Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.
Other uses of the herb:The plant produces a soft white mass, a froth like that of soap. It is used for bathing and washing clothes.
Propagation of Curlytop Knotweed: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.
Cultivation of the herb:Swampy thickets, shores, damp clearings and cultivated fields in N. America.
Known hazards of Polygonum lapathifolium: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.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.