Annual herb (but generally grown as perennial) more or less glandular on all parts. Stems to about 50 cm tall, extremely tough at the base, creeping slightly and with roots forming at the joints touching the ground. Leaves 7-10 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, narrow-lanceolate mostly long-pointed at the tip. Ocreas covering about a quarter of the internode. Flowers with 8 stamens not protruding from the white or rose-violet flower; autumn. Styles 3. Nut small about 1.5 mm long, three-angled, pointed at two corners, shiny and without striations. [Polygonum odoratum Lour.]
Strong smelling, with peppery taste; grown mainly as a herb garden plant.
Used as a condiment in Indo-China, especially with meat and fish dishes; it is said to have aphrodisiac properties. The stem and leaves are used in various compound preparations as a diuretic and for treating fevers and nausea.
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.