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Spotted Ladysthumb

Polygonum persicaria

scanned image © by Michael Plagens

Observed in a well-watered flower bed in Glendale, Arizona, USA. May 2009.

ANNUAL HERB: Few, slender weakly branching stems rising to usu less than 1 meter. Desert plants tend to be less leafy and with small inflorescences.

LEAVES: Leaves are elyptic, mostly less than 10 cm. At the base of each leaf pair is a scarious sheath enclosing the stem. The sheath has a few narrow, bristle-like projections.

RANGE: Generally a weed of urban gardens in the Sonoran Desert. Sometimes grows naturally along riparian streams in the Sonoran Desert. Widely distributed across North America having been introduced from Eurasia.

FRUIT: Dry, single-seeded capsules with three angles or flattened.

FLOWERS: Whitish-pink flowers are small in short spikes at top of plant. Greenish bracts around flower may show hints of pink color.


Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009