Wildflowers
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Lady’s Thumb
Polygonum persicaria

Other Names: Redleg

Family
Flower
  • each is ~ 4 mm (1/8 inch), pink, whitish, or purplish, and arranged in a thick, upright, elongated, or tubular cluster (1.5-5 cm, 0.5-2 inches) at the top of a pink/red stem that may be branched or unbranched
  • no petals
  • 4-6 sepals
Leaf
  • 5-15 cm (2-6 inches)
  • long and lance-shaped
  • darker smudge (roughly triangular) in middle
  • paper-like sheath around base where leaf joins the stem – short bristles around edge
Location
  • in many parts of North America
  • found in moist, open areas, along roads, and cultivated places
Flowering Time
  • June - October
Other
  • weed originally from Europe
  • whole plant is between 15 and 80 cm (6 and 31 inches)
Name Origin
  • dark smudge in center of leaf was thought to look like the thumbprint of a lady
Lady's Thumb

Lady's Thumb Leaf - note "thumbprint" in center.