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Polygonella articulata

Polygonella articulata (L.) Meisn.

Delopyrum articulatum (L.) Small

Polygonum articulatum L.

Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyPolygonaceaeKnotweed or smartweed family
GenusPolygonellaA diminutive form of Polygonum; from poly, “many,” and gonu, “knee,” referring to the multiple joints in the stem
Speciesarticulata“Jointed”

About plant names...

These unusual-looking plants are North American natives.

Identification: Plants are 4-15" (10-38 cm) in height, with very thin, wiry, jointed stems that branch often. If you don’t look closely you might mistake them for small tufts of thin grass. At closer range, though, they are quite striking, since a red papery sheath at each joint creates an alternating pattern of red and green. Flowers are white or pink, sometimes red, on stalks that are also jointed near the base, in inflorescences usually ¾-1¼" (2-3.3 cm) long. Flowers are about ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size, nodding like tiny bells, with five petals and pink stalks. They bloom from July to November. Leaves are also very small and narrow, inrolled.

Online References:

Polygonella articulata at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Polygonella articulata on CalPhotos

Polygonella articulata on Ontario Wildflowers

Polygonella articulata on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Polygonella articulata on Keir Morse's site, Keirosity.com

Polygonella articulata on eFloras

References:

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 172

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 276

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 15 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/4/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9 × 13 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/4/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/20/2014 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Polygonella articulata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 23 Sep 2013.

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Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/4/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

~1 x 0.75" · 9/20/2014 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

~2 x 2" · 9/20/2014 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/4/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

~2 x 2" · 9/20/2014 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 3½" (9.4 × 8.8 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/11/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm)

Polygonella articulata (Sand Jointweed, Coastal Jointweed)

9/4/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Range:

About this map...