Buckwheat (Family Polygonaceae)

 

Polygonaceae is a family of flowering plants known informally as

the Knotweed Family or Smartweed Family. Polygonaceae com-

prises about 1200 species. These are distributed into about 50 gen-

era. The largest genera are Eriogonum (240 species), Rumex (200

species), Coccoloba (120 species), Persicaria (100 species) and

Calligonum (80 species).

 

The family is present worldwide, but is most diverse in the North
Temperate Zone.

 

Several species of family Polygonaceae are cultivated as ornamentals.
A few species of Triplaris provide lumber. The fruit of the sea grape
(Coccoloba uvifera) is eaten, and in Florida, jelly is made from it and
sold commercially. The seeds of two species of Fagopyrum provide

grain. The petioles of rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) are a food item.

The leaves of the common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) are eaten in salads

or as a potherb. While some species of family Polygonaceae are

deemed beneficial, many other species are deemed nuisances, often

being regarded as invasive weeds.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Herb/Forb Families and Species

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