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Polygonum scandens

Polygonum scandens L.

 

Climbing False Buckwheat

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyPolygonaceaeKnotweed or smartweed family
GenusPolygonumGreek poly, “many,” and gonu, “knee,” for the swollen jointed stems
Speciesscandens“Climbing”

About plant names...

Climbing buckwheat is a common, robust North American native. The genus Polygonum means ”many knees”—a reference to the jointed sheaths the are found wherever leaf stems meet the vine.

Identification: These vines twist and clamber rapidly over other plants, reaching lengths up to 20' (6.1 m). The green vines often turn deep red in the sun, and are hairless. Leaves are ovate (heart-shaped), almost sagittate (arrowhead-shaped), sharp-tipped, alternate, up to 2" (5 cm) × 4" (10 cm). Where each leaf stem attaches to the vine, the vine is somewhat swollen, forming a sort of protective sheath. Leaf stems are up to 1½" (3.8 cm) long. The flower clusters (racemes) are 2-8" (5-20 cm) long, composed of greenish, rather unflowerlike flowers bordered with three tepals that are the fruit. Flowers are ¼" (8.5 mm) around; so are the fruits, which are also greenish and bordered with white or pink.

 

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

6/28/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 4 × 5" (10 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Some similar species:

 
Convolvulus arvensis

Calystegia sepium

Polygonum convolvulus var. convolvulus
Common Name

Field Bindweed

Hedge Morning Glory

Black Bindweed
Plant Vines are 20-79" (50-200 cm) high. Vine up to 12’ in length, stem light green or red Vine up to 3' (1 m) long. At leaf nodes there is an ocrea.
Flowers Trumpet-shaped, ⅜-⅞" (1-2.5 cm) in diameter, and white or pale pink. Small bracts are separate from the flowers. Trumpet-shaped, up to 3” across, white or pink and white, with a yellow throat Small, greenish-pink to greenish-white, in racemes (bunches); individual flowers are ⅛" (4 mm) long, racemes are up to 2½" (6.3 cm) long
Leaves ¾-1¾" (2-5 cm) × ⅜-1" (1-3 cm) wide, either linear or shaped like arrowheads (sagittate). Shaped like arrowheads (sagittate) Alternate, triangular or heart-shaped, lower corners of leaves aim inward toward the petiole (leaf stem)
Fruit Seeds ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, with two flat sides and a convex side, like an orange segment. Nearly round, in pairs, like segments of an orange Three-sided, with a single dull black seed
Range/ Zones

Type Wild Wild Wild

 

  You are here
Polygonum scandens
Common Name

Climbing False Buckwheat
Plant Vines up to 20' (6.1 m) long. Stems are light green to bright red, almost hairless. Where leaves attach to the stem, there is a protective sheath, or ocrea
Flowers Racemes are 2-8" (5-20 cm) long, with small greenish flowers.
Leaves Ovate, approaching sagittate (shaped like an arrowhead), up to 2" (5 cm) × 4" (10 cm). Leaf petioles are up to 1½" (3.8 cm) long
Fruit Greenish, with white or pink borders.
Range/ Zones

Type Wild

 

Edibility: The seeds can be processed into flour.

Online References:

Polygonum scandens on Missouriplants.com

Polygonum scandens at Illinois Wildflowers

Polygonum scandens on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Polygonum scandens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Polygonum scandens on eFloras

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

6/28/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/11/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashburnham, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/11/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashburnham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.

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Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/11/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashburnham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

6/28/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/11/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashburnham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm) ID is uncertain

Polygonum scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)

6/28/2012 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

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