Buckwheat or Smartweed

Family

(Polyonaceae)

Depending on the source the common name for the family changes. The Smartweed Family has flowers that do not really have petals, instead they are made up of sepals (small modified leaf or petal that is at the base of the petal), that cluster together at the head of the stem. The "flowers" can be white, light pink, or even greenish and are about 1/10 inch or 3 mm big. There are 2 to 9 stamens, although they are extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. The leaves are mostly alternate, although sometimes whorled or opposite. The leaves have swolled joints where each leaf is attached to the stem, which makes the stem seem to zigzag. There are about 70 species in our area.
Pale Smartweed Lady's Thumb
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