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Genus of the Week

Week of February 22-28

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Number of Species: about 150
Root: From the Greek "poly", meaning many and "gonu", meaning joint, a reference to the jointed stems of this genus which are typically surrounded by a thin leaf-like sheath.

A majority of species in the genus Polygonum are considered weeds, and several are regarded as invasive, inlcuding the infamous P. cuspidatum (also known as Reynoutria japonica, Fallopia japonica, and Japanese Knotweed). Growth forms range from low-growing herbs to shrubby clusters at tall as 15 meters.

Here are some links to images and information for the genus Polygonum:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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