Three Corner Nut

Oxygonum sinuatum (?)
(Ceratogonum cordofanum)

Oxygonum sinuatum photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in a farm plot near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. December 2012.

Oxygonum in semi-arid scrub near Voi photo © by Michael Plagens

Rocky slope near Voi, Kenya, Africa. 29 May 2017.

FRUIT: Like most buckwheats the seeds are three-angled, and in this case there's also a sharp point at each angle. I couldn't find a widely used common name, so I made one up from this feature.
Oxygonum sinuatum photo © Michael Plagens
HERBACEOUS: Slender ribbed stems with widely spaced leaves. Length mostly less than 2 m. Tends to lean and scramble upon nearby plants.

FLOWERS: The flowers are small, with four or five petals, and either pale pink or else white. Several clustered together at nodes.

LEAVES: Leaves are elliptic with conspicuously wavy margins. A brownish sheath encircles the stem where the leaf attaches.

leaf of Oxygonum sinuatum photo © by Michael Plagens

RANGE: This plant is native to many parts of eastern Africa including Kenya and there may be a number of similar species.

ARMED: The seed prickles are uncomfortably sharp especially if handled when pulling garden weeds.

Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 2 July 2013,
updated 20 July 2017.