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Polygonum lapathifolium

Polygonum lapathifolium L.

Persicaria incarnata (Elliot) Small

Persicaria lapathifolia (L.) Gray

Persicaria tomentosa (Schrank) E.P. Bicknell

Polygonum incanum F.W. Schmidt

Polygonum incarnatum Elliot

Polygonum lapathifolium L. ssp. pallidum (With.) Fr.

Polygonum lapathifolium L. var. incanum (F.W. Schmidt) W.D.J. Koch

Polygonum lapathifolium L. var. nodosum (Pers.) Small

Polygonum lapathifolium L. var. ovatum A. Braun

Polygonum lapathifolium L. var. prostratum Wimm.

Polygonum lapathifolium L. var. salicifolium Sibth.

Polygonum nodosum Pers.

Polygonum oneillii Brenckle

Polygonum pensylvanicum L. ssp. oneillii (Brenckle) Hultén

Polygonum scabrum Moench

Polygonum tomentosum Schrank

Nodding Smartweed, Pale Smartweed, Dock-leaved Smartweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
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
GenusPolygonumGreek poly, “many,” and gonu, “knee,” for the swollen jointed stems
Specieslapathifolium“Like Lapathum,” (now the genus is called Rumex)

About plant names...

Nodding smartweed is a North American native. The genus Polygonum means ”many knees”—a reference to the swollen, jointed sheaths the are found wherever leaf stems meet the vine.

Identification: Plants are 24-60" (60-152 cm) high, usually upright, sometimes sprawling (the stems aren’t very strong), with green or deep red hairless stems. Leaves are alternate, 1-8" (2.5-20 cm) long. They vary in shape but are typically lance-like, fatter at the base and tapering to a sharp tip. They have tiny, hooklike hairs that make them feel rough. Where each leaf stem meets the main stem, there is a thick sheathlike joint that is characteristic of this genus. Flowers are greenish-white to pink, in columns about ¼-⅜" (6.3-9.5 mm) in diameter and 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long. The clusters may be upright, arched, or drooping. The tiny, individual flowers never actually open.

Online References:

Polygonum lapathifolium on Missouriplants.com

Polygonum lapathifolium at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Polygonum lapathifolium University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program

Polygonum lapathifolium at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Polygonum lapathifolium on CalPhotos

Polygonum lapathifolium on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Polygonum lapathifolium on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Polygonum lapathifolium description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Polygonum lapathifolium (Nodding Smartweed, Pale Smartweed, Dock-leaved Smartweed)

10/17/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum lapathifolium (Nodding Smartweed, Pale Smartweed, Dock-leaved Smartweed)

10/17/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum lapathifolium (Nodding Smartweed, Pale Smartweed, Dock-leaved Smartweed)

10/17/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...