ribbon plant




pronounced: ver-be-NAY-see-eye

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.



Photograph © Donald Simpson 2011