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Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolygonaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree]. Stem: nodes swollen or not. Leaf: simple, basal or cauline, generally alternate; ocreae present or 0, generally scarious, persistent or not. Inflorescence: flower clusters in axillary to terminal cyme-, panicle-, raceme-, spike-, umbel- or head-like arrangements, entire inflorescence or main inflorescence branches generally subtended by bracts ("inflorescence bracts"); peduncles present or 0; flower clusters in Eriogoneae-Eriogonoideae subtended by involucre of >= 1 free or +- fused, sometimes awn-tipped bracts ("involucre bracts") or, in Polygonoideae and rarely in Eriogonoideae, not (if bracts completely fused, involucre "tubular"); pedicels in Eriogoneae each often subtended by 2 free, transparent, linear bractlets or in Polygonoideae all subtended by 2+ fused, membranous, wide bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, small, 1--200 per node; perianth parts 2--6, generally in 2 whorls, free or basally fused, generally petal-like, often +- concave adaxially, often darker at midvein, often turning +- red or +- brown in age; stamens [1]3 or 6--9 in 2 whorls; ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovule 1, styles 1--3. Fruit: achenes, included in or exserted from perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid or elliptic, generally glabrous.
Genera In Family: 48 genera, +- 1200 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate; some cultivated for food (Coccoloba, sea-grape; Fagopyrum, Rheum, Rumex) or ornamental (Antigonon, lovechain; Coccoloba; Muehlenbeckia; Persicaria; Polygonum), a few timbered (Coccoloba; Triplaris). Several (Emex; Fallopia; Persicaria; Polygonum; Rumex) are weeds. Note: Treatment of genera in Eriogonoideae based on monographic work of James L. Reveal. Involucre number throughout is number (1--many) per ultimate grouping, at tips of ultimate branches; flower number is per flower cluster or involucre, unless otherwise stated. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench not naturalized, considered an historical waif (or garden weed +- presently), therefore not treated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PolygonumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: KNOTWEED
Habit: Annual, perennial herb to shrub. Stem: prostrate to erect, 8--16-ribbed or 4--5-angled with ribs 0 or obscure; glabrous or papillate-scabrous. Leaf: cauline, alternate, petioled or not; ocrea generally jointed to leaf, generally cylindric proximally, generally translucent distally, white or silvery, 2-lobed, glabrous, disintegrating to fibers or completely; blade linear, lanceolate, elliptic, ovate, or subround, entire. Inflorescence: axillary, terminal, generally spike-like; peduncle 0; pedicels present or 0, included in to exserted from bractlets; flowers 1--7(10). Flower: bisexual, base not stalk-like; perianth not enlarging, bell- to urn-shaped, glabrous, white or green-white to pink; perianth parts 5, fused 3--60[70]%, petal- or sepal-like, similar [or not], outer +- keeled or not, < to > inner, midveins generally a different shade or color than rest of perianth; stamens 3--8 (some staminodes or not), filaments or at least innermost free, wider at base, fused to perianth tube or not, anthers elliptic to oblong, white-yellow or generally pink to purple (orange-pink); styles (2)3, generally spreading, free or fused basally, stigmas 2--3, head-like. Fruit: included or exserted, wings 0, angles (2)3, 1 face much narrower than other (1)2 or not; tip beak-like, yellow-green, brown, or black. Seed: embryo curved.
Etymology: (Greek: poly, many, gony, knee joint, or gone, seed, of uncertain meaning) Note: Many species of sect. Polygonum with 2 kinds of fruit, differing in germination and morphology (summer fruit brown, ovate, tubercled to smooth; late-season fruit olive-green, lanceolate, smooth, 2--5 × > summer), but of little taxonomic importance. Mature, early-season plants with leaves, flowers, fruits needed for identification. Flowers "closed" or "1/2-open" should be determined on herbarium specimens. Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Aconogonon, Bistorta, Fallopia, Persicaria.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea
Reference: Costea 2005 Brittonia 57:1--27
Species: Polygonum polygaloidesView Description 

Habit: Annual. Stem: erect, (2)6--20(25) cm, +- wiry, glabrous, green, +- angled, branches generally widely spreading (0). Leaf: basal leaves early-deciduous, distal abruptly reduced to bracts; ocreae 4--8 mm, glabrous, proximally cylindric, distally cut; petiole 0; blade 10--40 mm, 1--2.5 mm wide, narrowly linear, margin rolled under, smooth, tip acute or mucronate. Inflorescence: axillary, terminal, spike-like, +- spheric to cylindric; pedicels included, erect, 0--2 mm; flowers 1--3, in most axils or crowded distally. Flower: generally closed; perianth 1.5--3 mm, white to red, tube 19--40% of length, lobes overlapped, lance-oblong, +- keeled, tip acute to acuminate, midvein thickened, branches 2, proximal, or generally 0; stamens 3--8. Fruit: included, 1.3--2.5 mm, ovate to lanceolate, light-yellow or light- or green- to dark-brown, shiny or dull, smooth or net-like with longitudinal ridges.
Note: Highly variable; intermediates occur between all subspecies except Polygonum polygaloides subsp. polygaloides, of northwestern United States (except California), Alberta.
Unabridged Note: Alternatively, Polygonum polygaloides could be recognized in narrow sense, without infraspecific taxa, and the 3 subspecies in California could be treated as subspecies of a separate Polygonum kelloggii (earliest available name).
Polygonum polygaloides Meisn. subsp. esotericum (L.C. Wheeler) J.C. Hickman
Stem: 5--12 cm. Inflorescence: continuous from stem bases, 2--10 mm, 5--7 mm wide, narrowly cylindric; bracts appressed, 4--8 mm, lance-elliptic, rigid, margin flat, green, if white then scarious border 0.1--0.2 mm wide; veins prominent adaxially. Flower: perianth 2.1--2.9 mm, white or pink, tube 29--40% of length, tube and base of lobes smooth; stamens 5--8. Fruit: 2--2.5 mm, lanceolate, dark-brown, dull, net-like to +- smooth.
Ecology: Vernal pools, seasonally wet places, pinyon/juniper woodland; Elevation: +- 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: MP (near Goose Lake, Modoc Co.; Sierra Valley, s Plumas Co.). Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
Synonyms: Polygonum esotericum L.C. Wheeler
Jepson eFlora Author: Mihai Costea
Reference: Costea 2005 Brittonia 57:1--27
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Polygonum polygaloides subsp. confertiflorum
Next taxon: Polygonum polygaloides subsp. kelloggii

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Botanical illustration including Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum

botanical illustration including Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum


Citation for this treatment: Mihai Costea 2012, Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 25, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 25, 2022.

No expert verified images found for Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum.

Geographic subdivisions for Polygonum polygaloides subsp. esotericum:
MP (near Goose Lake, Modoc Co. Sierra Valley, s Plumas Co.).
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).