ALPINE BISTORT

Persicaria vivipara

Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

23rd June 2013, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Four specimens turning to fruit from the bottom upwards. Large white flowers still at the top, not yet turned to fruit. Those shortish leaves on reddish-brown stalks emerging from the ground belong to this plant. The leaves are short but grass-like and green turning reddish, with a prominent mid-rib, which can also turn reddish before the whole leaf does (just to the right of centre)


23rd June 2013, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Two fruiting stalks snuggle up near the centre.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
Flower spike slender and reminiscent of those of Lady's-Tresses. Grows up to 30cm on damp grass and on mountain ledges; lower down and nearer the sea in the far north of Scotland. Stem leaves dark-green and linear-lanceolate, tapering at both ends and usually with in-rolled margins. Has loose papery sheaths around any junctions. Lower flowers become purplish bulbils (fruit) before the topmost.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
Has 5-petalled flowers seemingly not fully opening and slightly hooded at the top.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
Stamens protrude from the flower opening, anthers covered in purplish pollen.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
Five stamens protrude from the hemi-zygomorphic flowers which bend over slightly. Anthers without pollen seem to be pale blue.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
Fruits slightly reminiscent of those of Common Gromwell but they lack the papery covering.


25th July 2015, a coniferous forest, Aviemore, Scotland Photo: © Tony Drake
The fruit have a thin onion-skin like papery covering. Fawn-coloured papery sheaths loosely surround the flower stalks. Flower anthers purplish.


23rd June 2013, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Two of the leaves, which emerge from the ground rather than from the flowering/fruiting stems which have no leaves themselves. They have lightning-like thin veins, a reddish brown mid-rib which becomes the reddish-brown stalk. The edges have many tiny rounded teeth forming the border of the leaf. The leaves are long-elliptical. A third leaf staggers off-screen to the right, the stem being flanged as it is with the central leaf. A fourth leaf conveniently pokes its all reddish-brown tip in from the left, showing its teeth on-edge.


Not to be semantically confused with : Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina) [a plant with similar name]

It is native in the UK and being an alpine plant occurs on mountains in damp grassland or ledges; but further north in Scotland lower down the slopes nearer the sea.


  Persicaria vivipara  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Polygonaceae  

Distribution
 family8Dock & Knotweed family8Polygonaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Persicaria
Persicaria
(Bistorts)

ALPINE BISTORT

Persicaria vivipara

Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]