North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Plant Page | Jeff's Nature Pages


Polygonaceae > Persicaria, Polygonum

Fringed Black Bindweed, Fringed Climbing Buckwheat (Polygonum cilinode)
Watauga Co., NC
23 July 2006

Uncommon and found at high elevation outcrops and other open areas near forests. Taxonomic revision suggests recognizing splitting this species and a few others into the genus Fallopia.

Fringed Black Bindweed, Fringed Climbing Buckwheat (Polygonum cilinode)
Watauga Co., NC
23 July 2006

Fruit (nutlets) are shiny black when ripe.

Fringed Black Bindweed (Polygonum cilinode) Fringed Black Bindweed, Fringed Climbing Buckwheat (Polygonum cilinode)
Watauga Co., NC
23 July 2006


Oriental Ladysthumb, Long-bristled Smartweed, Tufted Knotweed (Persicara longiseta, Polygonum cespitosum)
Durham Co., NC
30 Sep 2007

Some authorities consider this taxon to be native to both the US and Asia while others believe it is strictly introduced to the US. Similar to P. persicaria but that species usually has a purple blotch on the leaves and it lacks the long cilia in the flower spikes.

Oriental Ladysthumb, Long-bristled Smartweed, Tufted Knotweed (Persicara longiseta, Polygonum cespitosum)
Durham Co., NC
30 Sep 2007
Oriental Ladysthumb, Long-bristled Smartweed, Tufted Knotweed (Persicara longiseta, Polygonum cespitosum)
Durham Co., NC
30 Sep 2007

Found along roadsides, trail sides, ditches, etc. statewide in NC and becoming fairly common in areas.


Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Polygonum sagittatum) Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Persicara sagittata, Polygonum sagittatum)
Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007

Widespread and common in North Carolina in and along the edges of wet habitats.

Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Polygonum sagittatum) Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Persicara sagittata, Polygonum sagittatum)
Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007

Note here the recurved barbs that give rise to the common name "tearthumb" given to this group of plants.

Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Polygonum sagittatum) Arrowleaf Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratch-grass (Persicara sagittata, Polygonum sagittatum)
Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007

Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium) Halberdleaf Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia, Polygonum arifolium)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Uncommon statewide in North Carolina in bottomlands and disturbed areas.

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Underleaf and leaf margin detail.

Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) Pale Smartweed, Curlytop Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)
Waste area in Orange Co., NC
25 Sep 2012

Butterflies such as this Gray Hairstreak occasionlly take nectar from this plant.


Denseflower Smartweed, Smooth Smartweed (Persicaria glabra) Denseflower Smartweed, Smooth Smartweed (Persicaria glabra)
Durham Co., NC
20 Oct 2012

Uncommon in North Carolina, Smooth Smartweed grows in swamp forests.


Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of an impounded pond, Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007

Variable in appearance, this taxon is common in wet habitats in the eastern half of NC.

Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of an impounded pond, Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007
Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of an impounded pond, Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007
Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of an impounded pond, Richmond Co., NC
7 Oct 2007

Thanks to Mengchi Ho for identification!

Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of wet forest, Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016
Mild Waterpepper, Swamp Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Persicaria hydropiperoides)
Edge of wet forest, Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum) Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
Riverbend Park, Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012

Statewide in North Carolina and common to uncommon in moist, forested habitats.

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013

Flowers are tiny and widely spaced.

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013

Flower close-up

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013
Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013
Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum) Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
Riverbend Park, Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum) Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana, Polygonum virginianum)
Riverbend Park, Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012


Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta) Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
4 Aug 2016

Very rare (state endangered) in pineland depression ponds in NC.

Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta) Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
4 Aug 2016
Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta) Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
4 Aug 2016
Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta) Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
4 Aug 2016
Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta) Hairy Smartweed (Persicaria hirsuta)
Sandhills Game Land, Richmond Co., NC
4 Aug 2016

Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium, Persicaria amphibia) Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium, Persicaria amphibia)
On a sandy beach of a lake, Quebec, Canada
5 Aug 2005

Uncommon to rare (NC Watch List) in the western half of North Carolina, this species grows in sand, mud, and shallow water.

Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium, Persicaria amphibia) Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium, Persicaria amphibia)
On a sandy beach of a lake, Quebec, Canada
5 Aug 2005

Thanks to Mengchi Ho for identification!



Annotated habitat and distribution information listed above is from Radford, Ahles, & Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. UNC Press; and from personal observations and discussions with Will Cook, Harry LeGrand, and Bob Wilbur. Common names from personal experience and supplemented by the following resources USDA plants website, Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and NatureServe.


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Created on Aug 8, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com