Plant Image
Flower spike

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygonum punctatum - dotted smartweed

Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Polygonaceae

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Anthony Mendoza @, Usage Rights: Attribution-Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial
General Desc: Branching occasionally and rather erect in habit.
Identification notes: Flower sepals green (no petals are present), dotted with sunken glands. Sheaths with marginal bristles. Plants not aquatic (not found in standing water).
Height: 3 feet


Habitat Description: Occurs almost always in wetlands.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 2500 - 6200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White, green     Shape: Bell-shaped in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jul - Oct
Description: The greenish-white flowers (1/16 inch across) have sepals but no petals and form clusters 1 to 2-1/2 inches long at the end of stems. The 5 sepals are more or less tightly folded against each other and are dotted with white glandular spots.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves (2 to 6 inches long, 1/4 inch wide) have short petioles. At the base of each leaf is a sheath that wraps around the stem. Usually hairless but sometimes have a few hairs along the lower mid-rib.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Dark brown, black   
Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Each flower is replaced by an achene that is shiny, dark brown to black, three-angled, and rather oblong.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
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Prescott, AZ 86305
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Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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