Annual. It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. We rate it 1 out of 5 for usefulness. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Leaves – raw or cooked. An acid flavour, they are used like sorrel as a flavouring in salads or as a spinach.
Aperient; Astringent; Diuretic
The leaves are aperient, astringent, diuretic and cooling. The seed is cooling. It is roasted and used in the treatment of dysentery. The juice of the plant is cooling. It is useful in treating heat of the stomach, to allay the pain of toothache and, by its astringent properties, to check nausea.
Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant.
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position. Cultivated for its edible leaves in Indonesia and occasionally sold in local markets there.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.