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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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POLYGONACEAE

BUCKWHEAT FAMILY

James C. Hickman

Annual to trees, some dioecious
Stem: nodes often swollen
Leaves simple, basal or cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally entire; stipules 0 or obvious and fused into a generally scarious sheath around stem
Inflorescence: small cluster, axillary or arrayed in cymes or panicles; involucres sometimes subtending 1–many flowers
Flower generally bisexual, small, ± radial; perianth generally 5–6-lobed, base ± tapered, often jointed to pedicel; stamens 2–9, often in 2 whorls; ovary superior, styles generally 3, generally fused at base
Fruit: achene, generally enclosed by persistent perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid, and glabrous
Genera in family: 50 genera, 1100 species: worldwide, especially n temp; some cultivated for food (Fagopyrum ; Rheum , rhubarb; Rumex , sorrel) or ornamental (Antigonon , coral-vine; Muehlenbeckia ; Polygonum )
Reference: [Ronse Decraene & Akeroyd 1988 Bot J Linn Soc 98:321–371; Reveal et al. 1989 Phytologia 66(2–4):83–414]
Treatments of the 15 eriogonoid genera are based on the monographic work of James L. Reveal, who is gratefully acknowledged.

FAGOPYRUM

BUCKWHEAT

Annual, heterostylous, ± glabrous; flowers bisexual and staminate
Stem erect, 2–8 dm, hollow
Leaves cauline, alternate, petioled; stipules fused, sheathing stem above nodes; blade triangular-cordate to ± hastate
Inflorescence: short spike or ± flat-topped panicle
Flower: perianth lobes 5; stamens 8
Bisexual flower: styles 3, either short or long, stigmas 3, head-like
Fruit > calyx, sharply 3-angled
Species in genus: 15 species: especially temp Eurasia
Etymology: (Latin + Greek: beech wheat, from beechnut-like, edible fruit)

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