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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual, perennial herb, rhizomed or stoloned. Stem: prostrate to erect, ribbed or ± so or not, glabrous or hairy, generally with adventitious roots. Leaf: cauline, alternate, petioled or not; ocrea papery, rarely ± leaf-like, opaque, persistent or disintegrating, glabrous to variously hairy; blade lanceolate or ovate to hastate or sagittate, entire. Inflorescence: axillary, terminal, generally spike-like; flowers 1–14; peduncle present, pedicels present [or 0]. Flower: bisexual or functionally ± unisexual, base not stalk-like; perianth not or ± enlarging, bell-shaped (urn-shaped, rotate), glabrous, gland-dotted or not, green-white, white, pink, or red; perianth parts 4–5, fused 1/4–2/3, outer 2 > inner 2 or 3; stamens 5–8, filaments free, cylindric, thread-like, glabrous, outer fused to perianth tube or not, anthers elliptic to ovate, yellow, pink, or red; styles 2–3, erect to reflexed, free or fused, stigmas head-like. Fruit: included or exserted, brown or dark-brown to black, not winged, discoid, lens-shaped, or 3-angled. Seed: embryo curved.
± 100 species: ± worldwide. (Latin: peach, pertaining to; from resemblance of leaves of some species to those of peach)
Unabridged etymology: (Latin: persica, peach, aria, pertaining to; from resemblance of leaves of some species to those of peach)

Key to Persicaria

1. Inflorescence ± head-like; petioles generally winged, ear-like lobes at base (sect. Cephalophilon) ..... P. capitata

1' Inflorescence spike- or panicle-like; petioles not winged, ear-like lobes 0

2. Inflorescence panicle-like; perianth rotate, parts fused < 1/5 (sect. Rubrivena) ..... P. wallichii

2' Inflorescence spike-like; perianth bell-shaped or ± so, parts fused > 1/3 (sect Persicaria)

3. Perianth gland-dotted

4. Perianth lobe margins ± red; fruit dull; leaves bitter-tasting ..... P. hydropiper

4' Perianth lobe margins generally white; fruit shiny; leaves not bitter-tasting ..... P. punctata

3' Perianth not gland-dotted

5. Perennial herb, generally rhizomed or stoloned

6. Inflorescence terminal, 1 or paired, 8–20 mm wide; styles 2; fruit lens-shaped ..... P. amphibia

6' Inflorescence axillary, terminal, 2 or more, 2–5 mm wide; styles 3; fruit 3-angled ..... P. hydropiperoides

5' Annual, rhizomes or stolons 0

7. Ocreae leaf-like distally ..... [P. orientalis]

7' Ocreae papery throughout

8. Peduncle glands 0; bristles 2–3.5(4.5) mm on ocrea margins ..... P. maculosa

8' Peduncle glands ± stalked; bristles 0 or < 1 mm on ocrea margins

9. Perianth lobes 4(5), outer with anchor-shaped veins; inflorescence generally ± nodding ..... P. lapathifolia

9' Perianth lobes 5, outer without anchor-shaped veins; inflorescence generally erect ..... P. pensylvanica


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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