PALE PERSICARIA

Persicaria lapathifolia

Formerly: Polygonum lapathifolium
Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to a metre either upright or straggly and decumbent. In the background the farmer is growing a variety of Leek, possibly 'Blue Solaise'.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Despite the presence of dark splodges on the leaves, this is not Redshank, even though Pale Persicaria does not usually have dark splodges on the leaves.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers white to cream or greenish. Leaves lanceolate.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The books say that it is a very variable plant. This might account for the flower spike not drooping over as some books suggest they should, and that the stems are reddish when the books say they are usually green.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Sheathes are scarcely fringed


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Although the flowers are white here they can vary from greenish-white to greenish-pink, pink or reddish-pink.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
So far, the plant has characteristics of Redshank but for the presence of short and shiny glands on the perianth (flower stems).


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The glands are on short stalks.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
the flowers have 5 tepals (in lieu of petals) and 8 stamens (reduced to six on Pale Persicaria).


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Six white stamens, and two stigmas.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The two stigmas are on a single style which parts into two a short distance from the ovary.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Pale Persicaria is not the only Persicaria to possess two stigmas, but that characteristic eliminates Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) and Red Bistort (Persicaria plexicaulis).


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Two discoidal stigmas, and six stamens (reduced from 8), all white.


11th Aug 2015, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Your Author thinks this might be the developing fruit, which is 2-sides for Persicaria with two styles, and 3-sided for those with 3 styles. Here it does indeed look two-sided.


Not to be semantically confused with : Star of Persia (Allium christophii) [a plant with similar name]

Easily mistaken for : Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) but see photo captions for differences.

Hybridizes with :

  • Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) to produce Persicaria × pseudolapathum which.
  • Water Pepper (Persicaria hydropiper) to produce Persicaria × figertti which has tentatively been recorded in Cambs, Hants and Surrey.
So although the above specimen could possibly be the hybrid of Pale Persicaria with Redshank, that has never been seen anywhere in any period (according to BSBI maps), so it looks like this is a safe ID :-)


  Persicaria lapathifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Polygonaceae  

Distribution
 family8Dock & Knotweed family8Polygonaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Persicaria
Persicaria
(Bistorts)

PALE PERSICARIA

Persicaria lapathifolia

Formerly: Polygonum lapathifolium
Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]