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Polygonum persicaria

Polygonum persicaria L.

Persicaria maculata (Raf.) Gray

Persicaria maculosa Gray

Persicaria persicaria (L.) Small

Persicaria ruderalis (Salisb.) C.F. Reed

Persicaria ruderalis (Salisb.) C.F. Reed var. vulgaris (Webb & Moq.) C.F. Reed

Persicaria vulgaris Webb & Moq.

Polygonum dubium Stein

Polygonum fusiforme Greene

Polygonum minus auct. non Huds.

Polygonum minus Huds. var. subcontinuum (Meisn.) Fernald

Polygonum persicaria L. var. angustifolium Beckh.

Polygonum persicaria L. var. ruderale (Salisb.) Meisn.

Polygonum puritanorum Fernald

Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley

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
Speciespersicaria“Peach-like,” the medieval name for knotweed

About plant names...

Lady’s thumb, a native of Europe and Asia, became naturalized throughout the entire United States after its introduction there.

Identification: The plants reach 3' (91 cm) in height, though smaller plants are common. Leaves are long and narrow, up to about 5" (12 cm) long and an inch wide. Tiny pink and white flowers form spikes up to 3" (7.6 cm) long—the most noticeable feature of these rather inconspicuous plants. Leaves sometimes have a dark triangular ”thumbprint” on them.

Edibility: The leaves and young shoots are “palatable and nutritious”[1] leaf vegetables. Young leaves may be added to salads, or cooked and served with vinegar, tasting a bit like spinach.[2]

Online References:

Polygonum persicaria on Missouriplants.com

Polygonum persicaria on CalPhotos

Polygonum persicaria at Alaskawildflowers.us

Polygonum persicaria on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site

Polygonum persicaria on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Polygonum persicaria on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

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

Polygonum persicaria on eFloras

References:

Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides: Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/3/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 4½ × 5" (11 × 13 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/9/2014 · Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/17/2013 · Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/9/2014 · Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

7/17/2009 · Mt. Lebanon St, Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (26 × 17 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 18 × 21" (45 × 53 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/18/2013 · Bemis Road, Townsend, MA
≈ 4½ × 4" (11 × 10 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/9/2014 · Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

Usually pink, but may be greenish white or purple. · 8/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 4 × 4" (10 × 10 cm)

1See the Wikipedia article

2See Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides Edible Wild Plants, Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977, p. 116.

Polygonum persicaria description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/10/2016 · Arlington St., Groton, MA

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/18/2013 · Bemis Road, Townsend, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (12 × 18 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

A bit pinker than usual. · 9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 11 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/17/2013 · Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.7 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 16 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/10/2016 · Arlington St., Groton, MA

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/10/2016 · Arlington St., Groton, MA

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/19/2013 · Clapp-Scorgie-Tufts-Smith Conservation Area, Harvard, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 14 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

A bit pinker than usual. · 9/18/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/9/2014 · Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/3/2009 · 111 Near 119, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 15 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

9/9/2014 · Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 7.7 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (12 × 9.2 cm)

Polygonum persicaria (Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria, Redleg, Spotted Ladysthumb, Adam’s Plaster, Lily of the Valley)

8/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Range:

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