Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Polygonum plebeium R.Br.


Polygonum plebeium

Leaves and flowers



Family: Polygonaceae
Full name: Polygonum plebeium R.Br.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): -
English common name(s): Small knotweed
Synonym(s): Polygonum changii Kitag. (1965)
Status: Native
Description: Prostrate, mat-forming herb. Stems reddish-brown, up to 1 m long, becoming somewhat woody at the base. Leaves subsessile, elliptic, oblong to linear-oblong, 5-13 mm long, leathery and hairless, dark green to reddish-brown; midrib conspicuous; margin rolled under. Ocrea silvery hyaline, c. 5 mm long, deeply frilled, hairless. Flowers c. 3.5 mm long, greenish-white with creamy-white, pinkish-white or pinkish-red lobes, in numerous 1-5-flowered, axillary clusters, surrounded by leafy bracts. Nut 1.2-2 mm long, trigonous with concave sides, smooth, black and shiny. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Small knotweed is a prostrate, densely branched, annual herb. Stems are branched from base, branches numerous. Lance-like, elliptic, stalkless leaves are 1.0-3.0 x 0.1-0.4 cm, entire. Ochrea (a kind of sheath formed by two stipules united round a stem) are 1-2 mm long, membranous, ovate, tube-shaped. Flowers are pink, in leaf-axils, in clusters of 1-5, flower-stalks 0.5 mm long at flowering, usually enclosed by ochreae. Flowers sunken between ochrea or hardly coming out, 1-2 mm across, nearly stalkless. Tepals 5, 1.5-3 x 0.5-1.0 mm, inverted-lanceshaped - lanceshaped, unequal, outer tepals slightly longer and pointed, inner too blunt. Stamens 5, filaments long with broaden base, equal. Ovary small, trigonous with three styles and capitate stigmas. Nuts 1.0-1.75 mm long, circular to ovate, shining, black, hairless. Small Knotweed is found in India from sea level to 2200 m in the Himalayas. It is also found natively throughout much of South Asia and in Madagascar. (from http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Small%20Knotweed.html)

Herbs annual. Stems prostrate, 10-40 cm tall, much branched from base, usually internodes shorter than leaves. Petiole very short or nearly absent; leaf blade narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, 5-15 × 2-4 mm, both surfaces with conspicuous midvein and inconspicuous lateral veins, base narrowly cuneate, margin entire, apex obtuse or acute; ocrea white, 2.5-3 mm, membranous, apex lacerate. Flowers 3-6, in axillary fascicles; bracts membranous. Pedicels shorter than bracts, articulate at middle. Perianth green, margin white or pinkish, 5-parted; tepals narrowly elliptic, 1-1.5 mm, abaxially with prominent veins. Stamens 5; filaments included, slightly dilated at base. Styles 3, rarely 2, very short; stigmas capitate. Achenes included in persistent perianth, black-brown, shiny, broadly ovoid, trigonous or biconvex, 1.5-2 mm, smooth. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 20. (from http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242414124)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 08 Jul 2018
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: EOS 7D
Lens aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/500 s
ISO speed: 1000
Content last updated: 01 Jun 2020


Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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