Rumex patientia (garden patience, herb patience, monk’s rhubarb)

description: perennial

place of origin: Eurasia

urban habitat: commonly found in waste areas, roadsides, drainage ditches, oil fields, urban meadows.

ecological function: disturbance adapted colonizer.

history: Rumex patientia ranges across most of the continental US and parts of Canada and was probably introduced into North America with the arrival of European colonists. The Cherokee tribe found medicinal uses for the plant, using its leaves and roots to treat dysentery, skin problems, constipation, sore throat, and kidney aliments. The plant is commonly consumed as a leaf vegetable in Eastern Europe. The plant contains high levels of oxalic acid which when consumed in large quantities can cause mineral deficiencies and can aggravate conditions like arthritis, kidney stones, and hyper activity.