Polygonum scandens var. scandens L.
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Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Species Synonyms: Fallopia scandens (L.) Holub
Bilderdykia scandens (L.) Greene
Polygonum dumetorum var. scandens (L.) Gray
Reynoutria scandens (L.) Shinners
Tiniaria scandens (L.) Small
Common Names: climbing false buckwheat
Canada: southwestern and east-central Saskatchewan – southern Manitoba – Ontario – Quebec – Newfoundland – Nova Scotia
Saskatchewan: southwestern and east-central Saskatchewan; Cypress Hills - Swift Current, Thunder Hill – Duck Mountain (Bear Head Lake) - Jan Lake
Ecoregion: Cypress Upland, Mixed Grassland, Aspen Parkland, Boreal Transition, Mid-Boreal Upland, Mid-Boreal Lowland, Churchill River Upland
Saskatchewan: moist shrubland, open woods, clearings, wet shaded shores, and roadsides
Canada: damp thickets, clearings, and shores
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5 S1S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Polygonum scandens var. scandens is threatened because it is rare or uncommon in Saskatchewan. No immediate threats are known but may occur in the future.
Height: 1 – 5 m long
Stems: twining, herbaceous, scandent or sprawling, sharply angled, glabrous or papillose, not glaucous
Leaves: 2 – 7, blade 2 – 14 cm long, broadly ovate, base cordate, apex acuminate, scabrid, margin undulate; petiole 0.5 – 10 cm; ocrea usually deciduous, 1 – 6 mm, oblique, tan or brown
Inflorescence: raceme axillary, 5 – 15 cm, erect or spreading, interrupted, flowers 3 – 6 per ocreole; peduncle 0.1 – 7 cm or absent
Flowers: tepals 3.8 – 8 mm, green to white or pinkish, glabrous; stamens 8, pubescent proximally; styles connate, stigmas capitate
Fruits: achenes 3 – 6 mm, dark brown to black, shiny, smooth, wings undulate or crinkled
1 Flowers solitary or in small axillary clusters or open racemes; leaves jointed at the base with the petiole, small; outer tepals may be keeled; ocrea often hyaline, 2-lobed
1 Flowers in spicate racemes; leaves not jointed at the base with the petiole, large; outer tepals may be winged or unwinged, but not keeled (except in P. cilinode and P. convolvulus); ocrea chartaceous
2 Inflorescence compact
2 Inflorescence a slender, open raceme
3 Achenes black, smooth and shiny; tepals rounded
P. spergulariiforme
3 Achenes 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 pedicels
P. douglasii ssp. douglasii
5 Flowers ascending or spreading
6 Achenes shiny; leaves linear to lanceolate
P. ramosissimum
6 Achenes dull; leaves oval
7 Perianth bottle-shaped, outer tepal hooded
P. achoreum
7 Perianth not constricted below the apex, outer tepal not hooded
8 Leaves on the branches the same size as the ones attached directly to the stem; calyx 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; calyx with white, pink or purple margins
P. aviculare
9 Stems slender and twining; leaves broad, base hastate
9 Stems not twining; leaves linear to lanceolate, base not hastate
10 Ocrea with a ring of bristles
P. cilinode (= Fallopia cilinodes)
10 Ocrea lacking bristles
11 Fruiting calyx to 5 mm long, wings small; plants annual
P. convolvulus var. convolvulus (= Fallopia convolvulus)
11 Fruiting calyx to 1.5 cm long, wings broad; plants perennial
P. scandens var. scandens (= Fallopia scandens)
12 Leaves mainly basal, cauline leaves few and reduced
P. viviparum (= Bistorta vivipara)
12 Leaves mainly cauline, well-developed
13 Ocrea with bristles at the summit
13 Ocrea without bristles
14 Rhizomes forking; perennials; ocrea expanded at the top to create a flange; spikes to 2 cm thick; perianth not glandular
P. amphibium var. stipulaceum (= Persicaria amphibia)
14 Roots fibrous; ocrea not expanded at the top; spikes slender, less than 2 cm thick; perianth 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 Petioles attached near base of ocrea; leaves and upper stems glabrous to sparsely strigose
P. coccineum var. coccineum (= Persicaria amphibia)
16 Petioles attached midway on ocrea; leaves and upper stems densely ashy-gray pubescent
P. coccineum var. pratincola (= Persicaria amphibia)