Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Climbing False Buckwheat (Polygonum scandens)
- Family: Smartweed (Polygonaceae)
- Flowering: July-November.
- Field Marks: This species differs from the other viny species of Polygonum by its smooth, shiny achenes and its winged fruits usually 1/2-3/4 inch long.
- Habitat: Wet woods, damp thickets, around ponds and lakes, in sloughs, along streams; also in drier habitats.
- Habit: Twining, perennial herb with thickened roots and no tendrils.
- Stems: Stems twining, branched, smooth, up to 20 feet long.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped at the base, without teeth but rough to the touch along the edges, without hairs, up to 6 inches long, usually much smaller.
- Flowers: Several in racemes, not overlapping, up to 1/3 inch long, yellow-green.
- Sepals: 5, united, unequal in size.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 8.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas free.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, smooth, shiny, attached to the enlarged winged calyx, 1/2-3/4 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes can be ground and made into flour.
Previous Species -- Arrow-leaved Tear-thumb (Polygonum sagittatum)
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Bristly Smartweed (Polygonum setaceum)