Latin acetosus—acid or sour, referring to the taste of the leaves.
Erect or climbing annual or perennial herbs. Leaves stalked, not jointed. Ocreas short, tubular, not ciliate, soon shed. Flowers mostly unisexual in branched clusters. Perianth segments 6, inner 3 larger than outer. Stamens 6. Fruit a 3-angled nut enclosed by large, balloon-like, papery persistent perianth. [formerly placed in Rumex]
About 30 species from Africa and Eurasia (2 naturalised species in Australia).
Source: (1997). Polygonaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.