LEAST WATER-PEPPER

Persicaria minor

(Formerly: Polygonum minus)
Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZscarce
sex
sexZbisexual

28th Sept 2013, New Forest, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Decumbent to ascending, here mostly sprawling about haphazardly.


28th Sept 2013, New Forest, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
An annual plant which grows to 40cm long in moist soil in amidst mosses and some droppings from animals.


28th Sept 2013, New Forest, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
As usual for Persicaria, the stems are in short 'joined' sections, and green going reddish. The leaves are linear to narrow-elliptic - greater than 5 times longer than wide. Inflorescences on forwardly-directed branches.


28th Sept 2013, New Forest, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The peduncle (the lower un-branched part of the stalks) and the perianth (both the calyx and the corolla part of the flowers) are both without glands. The unseen (here) achene (the fruit containing a single seed) are 2 to 2.5mm long, shiny, and lenticular (biconvex lens-shaped).


28th Sept 2013, New Forest, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The inflorescence is lax and tapers into the sheaths.


13th Sept 2015, levels, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The seeds of Least Pepper are 2 to 2.5mm long, and lenticular (which according to Kew Gardens 'Plant Glossary' is a shape which is circular in one axis and flattened in the other two, i.e. in the shape of a flying saucer but without the thin rim around the periphery - like as in a childs 'smarty' sweet or as in lenticular clouds which are shaped by high-speed non-linear winds high up in the atmosphere. Hmmm!... Maybe there are two different botanical definitions of 'lenticular'?.
To your Author, it looks more like the shape of a hand-grenade complete with 'pin' at the end to pull, but with the addition of (at least one) deep length-wise groove. [The ruler has short 1 millimetre lines, here showing the first 0.5cm of the ruler - so this seed measures a tidge short of 3mm if you also include the 'pin' (which is the remains of the style)].


Not to be semantically confused with : Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum), Pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus), Peppermint (Mentha aquatica x spicata) or Water-purslane (Lythrum portula) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

Like Tasteless Water-pepper (Persicaria mitts) Least Water-pepper also does not taste peppery and has even narrower leaves. The flowers of Least Water-pepper are also more pink than those of Tasteless Water-pepper. The flowers also do not overlap.


  Persicaria minor  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Polygonaceae  

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

LEAST WATER-PEPPER

Persicaria minor

(Formerly: Polygonum minus)
Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]