Common Names: Common
Entry Author: J.Rogers and
Description: An annual herb with foliage and flowers peppery to the taste
Leaves: Lanceolate (arrow shaped) with serrated edges and a rounded tip; simple leaves, green with a light red hue; 3-8 cm long.
Flowers: Green and usually white margined arranged into a spike, often nodding at tip; or small bright pink to white flowers organized on the reddish stem into racemes.
Seeds: Bears a small, one seeded fruit called an achene; dark brown, 2-3 mm long.
Stem: Often reddish, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes. Erect, usually branched, smooth or slightly hairy
Branching Pattern: Alternate
Height: 30-45 cm tall
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Damp soils, low meadows, pastures, floodplains, and cultivated soils
Range: Native to North America and Europe and widespread throughout. All of continental US except southern Georgia and Florida
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Common
Uses (Human): Important food source for birds; used as an herbal remedy for a wide variety of ailments
Chadde, Steve W. A Great Lakes Wetland Flora (2nd
ed.). Michigan: PocketFlora Press, 2002.
Plants for a Future. June 2004. Accessed: November 29, 2005. <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Polygonum+hydropiper>
This page was created by: J. Rogers,
Northampton Community College, and K. Rice and C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/21/05