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Family: Polygonaceae (rhubarb family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales

About 43 genera and 1110 species, occurring worldwide, with four genera and 35 species native to southern Africa, an additional three genera and 14 species that are naturalised, and an additional seven genera and 11 species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

Information mainly from Germishuizen (2000).

Oxygonum

About 32 species, native to Africa and Madagascar, with six species native to southern Africa.

 

Persicaria

About 150 species, found in temperate regions worldwide, with nine species native to southern Africa and six species that are naturalised in the region.

 

Polygonum

About 20 species, native mainly to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Five species are native to southern Africa and one species is naturalised to the region.

 

Rumex

Over 200 species, found mainly in temperate regions worldwide, with 15 species native to southern Africa and three species that are naturalised in the region.

 

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

Information mainly from Germishuizen (2000).

Emex

One species is naturalised in southern Africa - Emex australis.

 

Fagopyrum (Buckwheat genus)

Eight species, native to Europe and Asia. Fagopyrum esculentum (Buckwheat) is cultivated in southern Africa and occasionally occurs as an escape.

 

Fallopia

About nine species, native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. The cosmopolitan weeds Fallopia convolvulus and Fallopia sachalinensis (= Reynoutria sachalinensis) have become naturalised in southern Africa.

 

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002).

Antigonon leptopus (Confederate Vine, Mexican Creeper)

Native to Mexico and cultivated as a garden plant.

Antigonon leptopus

Coccoloba

Two species cultivated: Coccoloba latifolia and Coccoloba uvifera.

 

Homalocladium platycladium (Tapeworm bush)

Native to the Solomon Islands.

 

Muehlenbeckia

Native to South America, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Four species cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Oxyria digyna

Native to north temperate regions.

 

Rheum x cultorum (Rhubarb)

Cultivated as a vegetable in southern Africa.

Triplaris americana (Palo santo, Triplaris, Ant Tree)

Native from Panama to Brazil. A declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa.

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Germishuizen, G. 2000. Polygonaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 451-453). National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

 


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