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Polygonaceae Juss., nom. cons.
the dock family
The type genus is Polygonum from the Greek πολυς (polys), many and γωνια (gonia), a corner, angle, referring to the many swollen nodes some species have. The Polygonaceae are herbs, shrubs and a few trees with simple, usually alternate, leaves. There is a membranous sheathing stipule called an ochrea. The flowers are radially symmetrical, usually small, and usually bisexual. The perianth is usually in 2 undifferentiated whorls comprising 3 – 6 distinct or basally connate sepals. There are 6 – 9 stamens (commonly 8), distinct or basally connate, and usually in 2 whorls. There is a compound pistil of usually 3 carpels, an equal number of style branches or styles, and a superior ovary containing one basal ovule. After flowering, the sepals often become thickened and enlarged around the developing fruit, which is usually a triangular or 3-winged achene.
Antigonon leptopus - Coral Vine
Homalocladium platycladum - Ribbon Plant
Muehlenbeckia platyclados (syn.) - Ribbon Plant
Persicaria attenuata - Smartweed
Polygonum attenuatum (syn.) - Smartweed
Rheum rhabarbarum- Rhubarb
Photograph © Donald Simpson 2011
Page last updated 28th March 2018