Description: Plants 3-20(-30) dm. Stems striate, often striped or suffused with red or pink, branched distally, hollow. Leaves: ocrea brown, loosely funnelform, 2-4 cm, margins strongly oblique, glabrous or puberulent with flattened, whitish hairs along veins; petioles of basal leaves pinkish green or reddish green, ca. equaling or longer than blade, thick, fleshy, those of cauline leaves absent distally; basal leaf blades palmately veined with 5-7 basal veins, 30-45(-60) × 10-30 cm, veins pubescent primarily along veins with flattened, whitish hairs. Inflorescences 250-500-flowered, 15-40 cm; peduncle 1-8 cm, glabrous. Pedicels articulated at or proximal to middle, 2-5 mm, glabrous. Flowers: tepals oblong-ovate, 2.3-4 × 1-2.5 mm, margins hyaline, apex obtuse. Achenes 6-10(-12) × 6-11 mm including wings, 4-8 times longer than perianth; wings tan, veined, 3-4 mm wide, membranous. 2n = 44. 1
Uses: In traditional Chinese medicine, this root is known as Da Huang. This root is used as a strong laxative to expel stagnant waste within the body. Used with fever, constipation, and abdominal pain. Da Huang clears heat from the the blood and is therefore dangerous to use when blood deficiency is present.
This has also been used externally on burns, sores and cuts.