PALE SMARTWEED
File Size: 55 KB
 
Persicaria lapathifolia   (L. ) Gray
[=Polygonum lapathifolium L.]
Cowley County, Kansas
Annual
Height: 4-10 inches
Family: Polygonaceae - Buckwheat Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September,October
Also Called: Dock-leaf smartweed.
Stems: Ascending to erect, simple or branched, usually glabrous, sometimes glandular-punctate or stipitate-glandular above.
Leaves: Mostly cauline, alternate; ocrea brown, cylindric, 1/6 to 1 inch, papery, base inflated, margins truncate, eciliate or ciliate with bristles to 1/25 inch, surface glabrous, rarely strigose, eglandular; petiole to 6/10 inch; blade sometimes with dark triangular blotch on upper surface, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, 1.5 to 8 inches long, 1/5 to 2.3 inches wide, base tapering to cuneate, margins rough, tip acuminate, surfaces strigose on main veins, lower surface glabrous or tomentose, upper surface glandular-punctate.
Inflorescences: Mostly terminal, sometimes also axillary, spike-like, mostly arching or nodding, usually uninterrupted, 1.2 to 3 inches long, 1/5 to 1/2 inch wide; peduncle .08 to 1 inch, often stipitate-glandular; ocreolae subtending clusters of flowers usually overlapping, margins eciliate or with minute bristles.
Flowers: Pedicels ascending, less than 1/10 inch. Flowers 4-14 per fascicle; perianth greenish white to pink, glabrous, not glandular-punctate or glandular-punctate mostly on tube and inner tepals; tepals 4(-5), obovate to elliptic, ca. 1/10 inch, veins prominent, those of 2 or 3 outer tepals prominently 2-forked distally, anchor-shaped; stamens 5-6, included; styles 2(-3), deciduous, included.
Fruits: Achenes brown to black, discoid, .06 to .12 inch, shiny or dull, smooth; seeds 1.
Habitat: Marsh mud flats, ponds and lakes shores, wet prairies, ditches, moist disturbed sites, and waste places.
Distribution: Statewide
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans took an infusion of the plant for fevers and stomachaches.
Comments: Persicaria - peach, alluding to the resemblance of the leaves of some species to those of the peach and lapathifolia - dock leaf, the leaves resembling those of some Rumex species.

Pale smartweed
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Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed leaf
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Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed ocrea
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Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed inflorescence
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Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed stem
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Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed
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Cowley County, Kansas