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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 359. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus (s. str.) of c. 60 species, distributed in both the hemispheres. Represented by 20 species in Pakistan.


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Annual or perennial, prostrate, subprostrate to erect, branched or simple herbs. Stem 1-many, branched from base or above. Leaves small, linear-lanceolate, ovate or elliptic, sessile-petiolate. Ochreae small, silvery or whitish hyaline membranous, partite or ciliate-lacerate. Inflorescence axillary, few flowered or solitary, or in small clusters. Perianth mostly petaloid, tepals 4-6, elliptic-ovate. Stamens 4-8, filaments short, usually broadened at the base without any interstaminal nectaries. Ovary biconvex or trigonous, small, with 2-3 styles and capitate stigmas. Nuts biconvex or trigonous, dark brown-black, shining.

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1 Plants annual. (10)
+ Plants perennial. (2)
2 (1) Ochreae membranous or somewhat hyaline, conspicuously nerved throughout or more than half of their length. (3)
+ Ochreae hyaline, not conspicuously nerved or nerved at the base only. (6)
3 (2) Nerves of the ochreae though strong but not thickened and aristate, rarely exserted. (4)
+ Nerves of the ochreae thickened and exserted like 2 aristae. 1 Polygonum biaristatum
4 (3) Ochreae shorter than the internodes, not covering the internodes, with 2 nerves only. Nuts 1.5-2 mm long. (5)
+ Ochreae longer or almost equalling the internodes, covering the internodes, with 12 strong nerves. Nuts 2.5-3.5 mm long. 4 Polygonum maritimum
5 (4) Ochreae shorter than the internodes, not covering the internodes, with 2 nerves only. Nuts 1.5-2 mm long. 2 Polygonum recumbens
+ Plants prostrate. Leaf blades linear, gland-dotted. Nuts dull and striate. 3 Polygonum roylii
6 (2) Leaves sessile, linear lanceolate. (7)
+ Leaves petiolate, elliptic, oblong to oblong-spathulate, ovate. 5 Polygonum cognatum
7 (6) Plants prostrate to subprostrate. Rhizome unbranched. Nuts asymmetrical, distinctly curved, not pointed at the tip (leaves not Thymus-like). (8)
+ Plants erect. Rhizome distinctly many branched. Nuts ± symmetrical, regular, often trigonous, acute to pointed at the tip (leaves Thymus-like). 6 Polygonum thymifolium
8 (7) Flowering branches few, thick, with many leaves. Leaves 1-2 (-3) mm broad. Ochreae 5-15 mm long. (9)
+ Flowering branches numerous, filiform, ± ascending, with few leaves. Leaves 0.5 mm broad. Ochreae ± 3 mm long. 7 Polygonum sarobiense
9 (8) Leaves up to 10 (-12) mm long, ochrea always equalling or exceeding the leaves especially on young branches. Plants usually glabrous. 8 Polygonum paronychioides
+ Leaves 10-25 mm long. Ochrea always shorter than the leaves. Plants papillose-puberulous. 9 Polygonum afghanicum
10 (1) Plants very small, stem dichotomously branched, up to 5 cm long. Perianth hyaline. Ochrea almost covering the flowers.
+ Plants large. Stem >5 cm long not dichotomously branched. Perianth petaloid, white, green, roseate or red. Flowers not covered by ochreae. (11)
11 (10) Flower bearing branches either without leaves or bracteal leaves much smaller thus the floral branches conspicuously differentiated from the leafy vegetative branches. (12)
+ Flowers bearing branches with normal leaves and the flowers ± disposed over the entire plant almost from the base. (13)
12 (11) Inflorescence compact. Floral branches almost naked. Tepals parted almost half the length. Nuts 1.5-2.0 mm long. 10 Polygonum argyrocoleon
+ Inflorescence lax. Floral branches not completely naked. Tepals parted almost up to the base. Nuts 2-3 mm long. 11 Polygonum patulum
13 (11) Internodes ± covered by the ochreae and closely imbricated leaves. (14)
+ Internodes not covered by the ochreae and closely imbricated leaves. (16)
14 (13) Plants mostly glabrous. Perianth subcampanulate, tube shorter than the lobes usually not fused with nuts. Nuts not shining. (15)
+ Plants mostly puberulous. Perianth tubular, tube longer than the lobes, usually fused with nuts. Nuts shining. 19 Polygonum rottboellioides
15 (14) Perianth c. 2 mm long, equalling to mature achenes. Leaves coriaceous, linear to ovate. 18 Polygonum polycnemoides
+ Perianth scarcely 1 mm long, exceeded by the mature nuts. Leaves membranous, oval. 17 Polygonum cashmiriense
16 (13) Plants heterophyllous. Cauline leaves larger, ramal leaves smaller. (17)
+ Plants not heterophyllous. Cauline and ramal leaves ± equal size. (18)
17 (16) Nuts rugolose. Stem and branches mostly striate. 12 Polygonum aviculare
+ Nuts smooth. Stem and branches not striate. 14 Polygonum olivascens
18 (16) Plants prostrate to procumbent, ochrea either not nerved or faintly nerved. (19)
+ Plants erect, ochrea distinctly nerved from the base to the apex. 11 Polygonum patulum
19 (18) Ochrea undivided, mostly lacerate or toothed only at the apex. Nuts 1-1.25 (1.5) mm long. (20)
+ Ochrea deeply bifid. Nuts 2-2.5 mm long. 13 Polygonum arenastrum
20 (19) Flowers sessile to subpedicellate, mostly sunken among the ochreae, rarely exserted. Outer tepals slightly longer.
+ Flowers distinctly pedicellate, exserted from the ochreae.All tepals almost equal in size. 15 Polygonum effusum
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