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
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.
Crooked Run Valley