File Size: 55 KB
Persicaria lapathifolia   (L. ) Gray
[=Polygonum lapathifolium L.]
Cowley County, Kansas
Height: 4-40 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
180 KB
Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed leaf
67 KB
Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed ocrea
50 KB
Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed inflorescence
77 KB
Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed stem
73 KB
Cowley County, Kansas
Pale smartweed
124 KB
Cowley County, Kansas