Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Polygonaceae >>> Polygonum lapathifolium

Curlytop Knotweed

Polygonum lapathifolium

photo © by Michael Plagens

Growing in damp soil along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA on 01 Aug. 2009.

ANNUAL HERB: Upright stems rise to 1 meter or 1½ m before flowering. The stem nodes are swollen and the stipules at leaf bases are fused into a translucent, light brown, papery sheath that encircles the stem.

LEAVES: Leaves are elyptic and alternate on stems.

RANGE: Commonly encountered in the Sonoran Desert in damp or wet soil in riparian zones or agricultural ditches. Distributed generally all over North America.

FRUIT: Dry, single-seeded capsules - the seeds are shiny and flattened.

FLOWERS: Pinkish flowers are small in long, drooping spikes at top of plant. Flowering mostly late spring through autumn.


Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009