Persicaria virginiana

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Persicaria virginiana
Persicaria virginiana 01 Pengo.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. virginiana
Binomial name
Persicaria virginiana
(L.) Gaertn.

Polygonum virginianum
Persicaria filiformis
Tovara virginiana

Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana), also called Virginia Knotweed or Woodland Knotweed[1] is a species of Persicaria (smartweeds), unusual as a shade-tolerant member of a mostly sun-loving genus. Jumpseed is a perennial, named for its seeds which can "jump" several feet when a ripe seedpod is disturbed.

It blooms in midsummer to late summer/early fall. It has a stalk of small white flowers.[2]


Like other Persicaria, jumpseed has alternate leaves, with fine-hairy stipular sheaths with bristle-fringed edges which often turn brownish. Flowers, widely spaced along slender stalks, are white to greenish-white, rarely pink-tinged, and fruiting flowers have 2 downward-pointing hook-tipped styles.[1] It is easily distinguished from most other Persicaria by its much larger, more oval-shaped leaves, although a few species also have large leaves. It sometimes has a chevron-shaped marking on the leaves; often a single plant will have this marking on some leaves but not others.

Cultivars and naturalized populations from cultivation show much greater variation than wild-type plants, sometimes having variagation or have more involved red patterning, and sometimes having red or pink flowers.


Jumpseed has a wide native range throughout most of Eastern North America, from Ontario and Quebec, south to Floria, and west to Texas, Nebraska, and Minnesota.[3]

It naturally occurs in full to partial shade, on riverbanks, woods, cliffs, and rocks.[4]


Many variegated cultivars exist. The plant prefers medium to moist soil and full sun to part shade.[5]


  1. ^ a b David M. Brandenburg, Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, National Wildlife Federation, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2010. (pp. 432)
  2. ^ 1. Persicaria virginiana (Linnaeus) Gaertner, Flora of North America
  3. ^ Polygonum virginianum L., Jumpseed, USDA Plants Profile
  4. ^ Persicaria virginiana - UW Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium
  5. ^ Missouri Botanical Garden