Polygonum punctatum var. confertiflorum (Meisn.) Fassett
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Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Species Synonyms: Persicaria punctata (Ell.) Small
Persicaria punctata var. leptostachya (Meisn.) Small
Polygonum punctatum var. leptostachyum (Meisn.) Small
Polygonum punctatum var. parvum Victorin & Rouss.
Common Names: dotted smartweed
Canada: southern British Columbia, central Saskatchewan – Manitoba – Ontario – Quebec – New Brunswick – Nova Scotia
Saskatchewan: central Saskatchewan; Buffalo Narrows – Ile-a-la-Crosse – Lac la Ronge – Jan Lake – Amisk Lake
Ecoregion: Mid-Boreal Upland, Churchill River Upland
Saskatchewan: wet, marshy or gravelly shores, forests, bogs or wet fens
Associated Species: jackpine, white spruce
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5T5 S1
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Dotted smartweed is threatened because of rarity in Saskatchewan. No threats are known for this species but may occur in the future.
Height: 15 – 120 cm
Roots: often arising from proximal nodes; rhizomes often present
Stem: annual or perennial, ascending to erect, simple or branched, hairless, glandular-dotted
Leaves: stalk 0.1 – 1 cm long, glandular-dotted; blade 4 – 10 cm long, 6 – 24 mm wide, lance-shaped to oval, face hairless or rough hairy, glandular-dotted, margin stiff-hairy; stipules fused 9 – 18 mm long, papery, base inflated, brown, glandular-dotted
Inflorescence: usually terminal, erect, interrupted, to 10 cm long, flowers 2 – 6 per secondary stipule; inflorescence stalk 3 – 6 cm long, hairless, glandular-dotted; fused stipules at the base of the inflorescence stalks not usually overlapping
Flowers: tepals 5, 3.5 – 5 mm long, fused, greenish proximally, whitish distally, glandular-dotted; stamens 6 – 8, included, anthers pink or red
Fruits: brownish-black
1 Flowers solitary or in small axillary clusters; leaves jointed at the base with the stalk, small; outer tepals may be boat-shaped; fused stipules often dry and membranous, 2-lobed
1 Flowers in spike-like clusters; leaves not jointed at the base with the stalk, large; outer tepals may be winged or unwinged, but not boat-shaped (except in P. cilinode and P. convolvulus); fused stipules papery
2 Inflorescence compact
2 Inflorescence a slender, open, unbranched
3 Fruits black, smooth and shiny; tepals rounded
P. spergulariiforme
3 Fruits yellowish to dark brown, not shiny; tepals pointed
4 Bracts definitely white-margined; stems to 20 cm tall
P. polygaloides var. confertiflorum
4 Bracts only slightly white-margined, if at all; stems less than 20 cm
P. polygaloides var. kelloggii
5 Flowers on reflexed stalks
P. douglasii ssp. douglasii
5 Flowers ascending or spreading
6 Fruits shiny; leaves linear to lance-shaped
P. ramosissimum
6 Fruits dull; leaves oval
7 Tepals bottle-shaped, outer tepal hooded
P. achoreum
7 Tepals not constricted below the tip, outer tepal not hooded
8 Leaves on the branches the same size as the ones attached directly to the stem; sepals with greenish-white or pink margins
P. arenastrum (= P. aviculare ssp. depressum)
8 Leaves on the branches much smaller than the ones attached directly to the stem; sepals with white, pink or purple margins
P. aviculare
9 Stems slender and twining; leaves broad, base arrow-shaped
9 Stems not twining; leaves linear to lance-shaped, base not arrow-shaped
10 Fused stipules with a ring of bristles
P. cilinode (= Fallopia cilinodes)
10 Fused stipules lacking bristles
11 Fruiting sepals to 5 mm long, wings small; plants annual
P. convolvulus var. convolvulus (= Fallopia convolvulus)
11 Fruiting sepals to 1.5 cm long, wings broad; plants perennial
P. scandens var. scandens (= Fallopia scandens)
12 Leaves mainly basal, stem leaves few and reduced
P. viviparum (= Bistorta vivipara)
12 Leaves mainly on the stem, well-developed
13 Fused stipules with bristles at the summit
13 Fused stipules without bristles
14 Rhizomes forking; perennials; fused stipules expanded at the top to create a rim; spikes to 2 cm thick; tepals not glandular
P. amphibium var. stipulaceum (= Persicaria amphibia)
14 Roots fibrous; fused stipules not expanded at the top; spikes slender, less than 2 cm thick; tepals glandular
P. punctatum var. confertiflorum (= Persicaria punctata)
15 Annuals, terrestrial; roots fibrous; spikes terminal and axillary, numerous
P. lapathifolium var. lapathifolium (= Persicaria lapathifolia)
15 Perennials, often aquatic; rhizomes forking; spikes terminal, solitary or paired
16 Leaf stalks attached near base of fused stipules; leaves and upper stems hairless to sparsely straight-hairy
P. coccineum var. coccineum (= Persicaria amphibia)
16 Leaf stalks attached midway on fused stipules; leaves and upper stems densely ashy-gray hairy
P. coccineum var. pratincola (= Persicaria amphibia)