Polygonum spp.

  • leaves and shoots are edible raw.

  • rhizome can be eaten raw.

  • rhizome can be steeped in water, roasted/dried, and ground into flour.

  • rhizome is suitable for use as a potherb.

  • seeds are edible, either roasted whole or ground into meal/flour.

  • small bulblets can be eaten raw.

  • plant is rich in vitamin C.

  • varieties in the Pacific Northwest include American bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) and Alpine bistort (Bistorta vivipara).

  • grows in moist, open areas on montane, alpine, and subalpine slopes.

  • warning: eating raw plants in large quantities can cause diarrhea.

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