Persicaria hydropiperoides (Michx.) Small
Wild Water Pepper
Family - Polygonaceae
Stems - To +70cm tall, from fibrous roots, multiple from base, erect, herbaceous, glabrous or with sparse appressed antrorse hairs, branching.
Leaves - Alternate, sheathing, linear-lanceolate, entire, attenuate, scabrous with sparse short appressed pubescence, to -15cm long, +/-1.5cm broad. Ocrea to +/-1.5cm long, fringed with ciliate ferruginous bristles to -1cm long, with antrorse appressed pubescence.
Inflorescence - Loose terminal spikiform racemes to +/-10cm long. Ocreolae fringed with ciliate bristles to 1.5cm long. Pedicels to 1.5mm long.
Flowers - Perianth segments 5, pinkish-white, to 2.5mm long, glabrous, obtuse at apex. Stamens +/-5, erect, included. Filaments adnate at base of perianth segments, pinkish to white, to 2mm long, glabrous. Anthers whitish, to .5mm long. Styles 3, connate basally, -1mm long, glabrous. Achenes 3-sided.
Flowering - June - November.
Habitat - Swamp and pond margins, streambanks, springs, wet woods.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is one
of the easier members of the genus to identify. The racemes are distinctive
and the plant grows near or in water. The species name means "looks like
water pepper" referring to the plants resemblance to the related P.
Photographs taken at the Shawnee Trail Conservation Area, Barton County, MO., 7-28-00.