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Polygonum bistortoides - Pursh.
                 
Common Name American Bistort
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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 Moist or wet meadows and swamps, seldom below 2500 metres[43, 85].
Range Western N. America - Canada to California.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Polygonum bistortoides American Bistort


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Polygonum bistortoides American Bistort
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Polygonum bistortoides is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are 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.

Synonyms
Bistorta bistortoides. (Pursh.)Small.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A pleasant acid flavour, they are used as a potherb[183]. Root - raw or cooked[106]. Starchy and rather pleasant[85], the root can be baked or added to soups, stews etc[105, 161, 183, 257]. It was often dried before being used[207]. The raw root is slightly astringent, it becomes sweeter when boiled but is best when baked[212]. Seed - raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.
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.

Astringent;  Poultice.

The root is astringent. A poultice has been used in treating sores and boils[257].
Other Uses
None known
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]. Plants are growing well at Kew in a moist position by water in the rock garden[K]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. This species is closely related to P. viviparum[1] and P. bistorta[200].
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.

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Other Names
Found In
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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Polygonum alaskanumAlaska Wild Rhubarb21
Polygonum alpinumAlpine Knotweed, Alaska wild rhubarb21
Polygonum amphibiumWillow Grass, Water knotweed, Longroot smartweed, Water smartweed12
Polygonum arenastrumSmall-Leaved Knotweed, Oval-leaf knotweed23
Polygonum aviculareKnotweed, Prostrate knotweed23
Polygonum barbatumJoint Weed11
Polygonum bistortaBistort, Meadow bistort, Snakeweed33
Polygonum bungeanumBunge's smartweed10
Polygonum coccineumWater Smartweed10
Polygonum conspicuum 10
Polygonum convolvulusBlack Bindweed10
Polygonum divaricatum 10
Polygonum douglasiiKnotweed, Douglas' knotweed, Austin knotweed, Engelmann's knotweed, Johnston's knotweed, Large kno20
Polygonum dumetorumClimbing false buckwheat11
Polygonum equisetiforme 10
Polygonum fugax 30
Polygonum hydropiperSmartweed, Marshpepper knotweed22
Polygonum japonicumJapanese Knotweed, Mexican Bamboo, Japanese Knotweed33
Polygonum lapathifoliumCurlytop Knotweed11
Polygonum limosum 10
Polygonum longisetumOriental lady's thumb10
Polygonum maackianum 10
Polygonum manshurienseAsian Bistort01
Polygonum microcephalum 10
Polygonum minusPygmy smartweed10
Polygonum molle 21
Polygonum multiflorumHe Shou Wu, Tuber fleeceflower23
Polygonum nepalenseNepalese smartweed11
Polygonum orientalePrince's Feather, Kiss me over the garden gate22
12
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Subject : Polygonum bistortoides  

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