marsh-pepper smartweed, water-pepper
[Polygonum hydropiper L., more...]
Etymology: Persicaria: peach-like, the medieval name for knotweed
Plants: erect to spreading, annual, 6"-24" tall, mostly smooth, often reddish, peppery tasting forb; stems nodes with short hairs, upper ones swelling with closed flowers; taprooted
Leaves: alternate, narrowly lance-like, mostly less than 1" wide
Flowers: greenish-pink, 4-or 5-parted, petals and petal-like sepals connected at the base; inflorescence thin, usually unbroken clusters arching or nodding near the tip; blooms July-Sept.
Fruits: brown/black, dull, dry seed
Habitat: wet; marshes, streambanks
Floristic Rating: Wetland Indicator = OBL USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"