Fallopia scandens (L.) Holub

False Buckwheat

Polygonum sagittatum plant

Family - Polygonaceae

Stems - Twining, sprawling, vining, herbaceous, from fibrous roots, twisting with age, often slightly ribbed, typically becoming reddish in sun, branching, to +1m long.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Ocrea small, glabrous, often somewhat brownish, +/-2mm long(tall). Petioles to +5cm long, slightly scabrous from tuberculate ridges. Blades cordate, entire, acuminate, to +/-8cm long, +/-6cm broad, minutely puberulent above and below. Auricles rounded.

Polygonum sagittatum ocreaOcrea.

Polygonum sagittatum leavesPressed leaves.

Inflorescence - Axillary fascicles of few flowers on lateral growth. Pedicels to 1.5mm in flower, longer in fruit, glabrous, green.

Flowers - Outer 3 perianth segments keeled, glabrous, to 2mm in flower. The keel green. The margins white. Inner perianth segments white, ovate, glabrous, +1mm long and broad in flower. Perianth segments persistent in fruit and giving a winged appearance. Stamens 10, adnate at base of perianth segments. Filaments white, glabrous, .7mm long. Anthers white, bi-lobed, .2mm long. Ovary green, 3-sided, glabrous, -1mm long. Style wanting. Stigma capitate, green. Achenes black, shiny, 3-sided, to -3mm long.

Polygonum sagittatum flowerFlower close-up.

Polygonum sagittatum plantFruiting plant.

Polygonum sagittatum fruitFruit close-up.

Flowering - July - November.

Habitat - Moist woods, moist slopes, thickets.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - Because of its climbing nature, this plant can completely cover whatever structure it is growing on. It is considered a weed as it is introduced and spreads very quickly. This species can be found throughout Missouri. A similar but less-showy species is F. convolvulus L.
This latter species is very similar but does not get the large winged fruits of F. scandens Also, the fruits ("seeds") are shiny black in F. scandens but dull in F. convolvulus.

Photographs taken in the Crowleys Ridge Conservation Area, Stoddard County, MO., 6-14-03, and in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 9-15-03.