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Leaves and flowers

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygonum persicaria - spotted ladysthumb

Synonyms: Persicaria maculata, Persicaria maculosa
Other Common Names: pale smartweed, spotted knotweed
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Polygonaceae

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Max Licher @
Flower spike
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial   Similar Species: Polygonum lapathifolium
General Desc: Erect or spreading stems which may initiate roots at their lower nodes.
Identification notes: Lower stem internodes not inflated. Inflorescence dense, perianth (sepals and petals) pink, not glandular-pitted. Leaf node sheaths with marginal bristles. Propagates by rhizomes or stolons.
Height: 1 to 3 feet


Habitat Description: Wet places, mostly along water courses.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 3300 - 7200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pink     Shape: Bell-shaped in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jul - Sep
Description: Pink to rose colored flowers are borne on dense spikes. The petals are fused into a bell-shaped tube.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves may have a classic pink to purple "lady's thumb" print near the middle. Leaf nodes are conspicuous and sheathed.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Flattened and shiny.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
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Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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