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Polygonum sagittatum

Common Name of Genus: Arrow Tearthumb
Family:
Polygonaceae  


Entry Author:  C.  Westring
Description:  Weak-stemmed sprawling annual that uses backward-pointing hooks on the stem and leaves to help it climb over other plants.  This plant's name comes from these hooks which are stiff enough to break skin
Leaves: 
Simple, narrowly arrowhead-shaped leaves, pointed at the tip, with a pair of pointed lobes at the base, smooth, up to 7-8 cm long
Flowers: 
Up to 12 flowers in small, rounded clusters.  Flowers are pink or white, with 5 sepals
Seeds: 
Achenes triangular, black-brown, and shiny
Stem:  Sprawling or climbing, with numerous stiff, downward-pointing hairs
Branching Pattern:
   Alternate
Height:  0.6 to 1.2 meters
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:  Marshes, wet thickets, and along streams
Range:  Throughout North America from Newfoundland to Northwest Territory, south to Florida
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Not threatened
Uses (Human):  There are no known edible uses but the plant may sometimes be used in the treatment of nephritic colic, relieving the pains caused by gravel

References:

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/plntguid/species/polysagi.htm>

Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/polygonumsagi.html>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Polygonum+sagittatum>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <http://www.paflora.org/Web3/Searchbyplantname_detail.asp?key=2121&itemNumber=0>

This page was created by: C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 01/24/06