Apr. 16, 2021

Alaskan wild rhubarb, Aconogonon alaskanum

Name games! By various botanists, these plants have been placed in Persicaria, Polygonum, Aconogonon, or Aconognum. They have been included with east Asian plants as P. P. A. or A. alaskanum, or the Asians have been called species P. or A. alpinum. Kartesz and Ghandi (1988), and Chambers (1990) were persuasive enough that Flora of North America went with Aconogonon alaskanum, so that's good for me. But what about Aconogonon vs. Aconogonum. The first was first, when Meisner used it to segregate a section of Polygonum. Later Reichenbach (before he fell over the falls?) corrected the grammar to Aconogonum. Ain't that fun? In botanical grammar, first usually takes priority over other versions. Alaskan wild rhubarb is used like rhubarb, but perhaps mostly as cooked greens. Raw the flavor is a bit too sharp. These plants enjoy the bright summers in AK, YT, and NT. Beal Gardens, MSU, 5/27/14. Buckwheat family, Polygonaceae.