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Virginia Knotweed, Jumpseed - Persicaria virginiana


Family: Polygonaceae - Buckwheat family Genus Common Name: Smartweed Native Status: NativeDicot Annual Perennial Herb
Persicaria virginiana - Virginia Knotweed, Jumpseed. The Polygonum genus has recently been split into multiple genera, with about 30 species being reclassified in the genus Persicaria. I am following the lead of others in changing this from Polygonum virginianum to Persicaria virginiana. The genus common name for Persicaria is now "Smartweed"; Polygonum had been "Knotweed". The text imbedded in the photos will continue to reflect the old classification.

Persicaria virginiana is a late summer plant mostly of most woodlands, found in most of the eastern half of the United States.

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Persicaria virginiana

Distribution of Persicaria virginiana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 29 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-11Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
This photo shows what most folks will notice first about this plant the thin elongated raceme of tiny white knots, that may be up to 2 feet long, frequently as long or longer than the rest of the plant. There may be multiple racemes on a single plant.
Persicaria virginiana

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Each blossom is greenish white to pale pink on a short pedicel. It has 4 tiny tepals each around 1/10th of an inch long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Persicaria virginiana

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The seed forms with the style remaning on it. Pressure on the style of a mature seed will cause it to jump off of the plant for dispersal, giving Virginia Knotweed another common name of Jumpseed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Persicaria virginiana

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The alternate leaves of Polygonum virginianum are on a short petioles. They are ovate with a somewhat elongated, sharp tip.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Persicaria virginiana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer