VIRGINIA KNOTWEED
File Size: 44 KB
 
Polygonum virginianum  L.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-5 feet
Family: Polygonaceae - Buckwheat Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Stems: Erect, simple or branched above, nearly glabrous or stiff-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, short-stalked below, nearly sessile above, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 1 to 6 inches long, to 3.5 inches wide, sparsely stiff-hairy; margins entire; tips tapering-pointed; stipules sheathing, tube-like; top margins fringed with short bristles.
Inflorescences: Racemes, slender, spike-like, to 12 inches long, sparsely flowered, somewhat arching, terminal and in upper leaf axils.
Flowers: 1-3 per cluster, spaced some distance apart, about 1/10 inch long; petals absent; perianth segments 4, petal-like, whitish to greenish, joined below; stamens 4; styles 2, extending beyond perianth edges.
Fruits: Achenes, egg-shaped, shiny, brown.
Habitat: Woods, thickets and stream banks.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans treated whooping cough with a tea made from a mixture of Virginia knotweed leaves and the bark of the honey locust tree.
Comments: Virginia knotweed forms clumps via rhizomes.

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