Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Polygonaceae A.L. de Jussieu

English: Buckwheat family,

French: Polygonacée.

Polygonaceae, Buckwheat family.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 1–80 cm high; annual herbs, or perennial herbs; sometimes vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, or never vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, in inflorescences, from gemmiphores and gemmae, or by fragmentation. Taproot present, or only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or vertical, or absent; 0.2–50 mm wide. Caudex present, or absent. Aerial stems erect, or ascending, or prostrate. Leaves distributed along the stems, or mainly basal; alternate; marcescent. Stipules present; 0.5–15(–30) mm long; 0.5–8 mm wide; sheathing; brown, or white, or colourless; glabrous; apex acute, or truncate. Petioles 0.5–50 mm long; glabrous, or hairy; pubescent (when present). Petiole hairs shorter than the diameter of the petiole; spreading, or erect; curved, or wavy. Sheaths persisting, or breaking down into fibres; forming a conspicuous build-up at the base of the plant, or not forming a conspicuous build-up at the base of the plant; greyish brown, or brown, or straw-coloured pale yellow; with the margins fused to the apex, or with the margins fused only in the lower part; glabrous. Leaf blade bases cordate, or obtuse, or cuneate, or attenuate. Blades 1.2–80(–120) mm long, 0.5–20(–40) mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading or divaricate, oblong or elliptic or ovate or obovate or spatulate or reniform, flat, veins pinnate or veins palmate or appearing single-veined or with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface dull or highly glossy, glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous or hairy, hairs sparse (if applicable), hairs white and rust-coloured (if applicable), hairs wavy, hairs spreading. Blade margins slightly revolute. Blade apices acute, or obtuse, or rounded.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves, or without leaves. Inflorescences racemose, or paniculate, or cymose (Koenigia); dense, or diffuse; 0.5–15 cm long; 0.5–10 mm wide; elongating as the fruit matures, or not elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels present, or absent. Flowers per inflorescence 3–300; small. Sepals conventional; 3–5; free, or fused; 0.5–2 mm long; 1–5 mm wide; purple, or red, or black, or pink, or white; accrescent. Calyx glabrous. Petals absent. Stamens 3–6; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers (0.1–)0.5–1.2 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous. Styles 0–3; free, or partially fused; 0.2–1.8 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1–3. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile, or stalked; with calyx persisting; dry; an achene; ovoid, or obovate; black, or brown; 1–4 mm long; 0.5–2.5 mm wide; surface appearing veinless; distinctly flattened, or not distinctly flattened; indehiscent. Achenes lenticular, or trigonous.

Chromosome information. Supposed basic chromosome number of family 7/10/11/12.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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