Persicaria hydropiperoides (Michx.) Small

Locations ofPersicaria hydropiperoides (Michx.) Small in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Persicaria hydropiperoides (Michx.) Small
Common Name
Mild Water-pepper, Marsh-pepper Smartweed
Polygonum hydropiperoides Michx.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Persicaria hydropiperoides (Michaux) Small
The map contains records for two vars. which we tentatively recognize, despite recent work that casts doubt on their distinctiveness (see FNA Vol. 5). Var. hydropiperoides is the more robust, pink-flowered, widespread var. in Virginia, while var. opelousana (Riddell ex Small) J.S. Wilson is distinguished primarily by its more wiry habit, tendency to have narrower leaves, perianth shape, achene exsertion, plate-glands on vegetative parts (rarely on perianth), and greenish-white flowers. Extensive herbarium work will be required to map the two taxa separately.
The species occurs in alluvial swamps, seepage swamps, tidal swamps, maritime swamps, depression swamps and ponds, floodplain ponds and pools, interdune ponds, wind-tidal oligohaline marshes, impoundment marshes, and ditches; also on rocky, sandy, gravelly, or muddy bars and river shores. It is common in the Coastal Plain; infrequent to locally common in most of the Piedmont and the c. and n. mountains; mostly absent from the sw. Piedmont and sw. mountains. Based on limited field observations and herbarium study, var. hydropiperoides is widespread throughout the state range, while var. opelousanum is most frequent in the s. Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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