Persicaria virginiana

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Persicaria virginiana
Persicaria virginiana 01 Pengo.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
P. virginiana
Binomial name
Persicaria virginiana
Range within North America
  • Polygonum virginianum L. 1753
  • Antenoron virginianum (L.) Roberty & Vautier
  • Tovara virginiana (L.) Raf.

Persicaria virginiana, also called jumpseed,[2] Virginia knotweed or woodland knotweed[3] is a North American species of smartweed within the buckwheat family. It is 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.

Persicaria virginiana blooms in midsummer to late summer/early fall. It has a stalk of small white flowers.[4]


Like other Persicaria, jumpseed has alternate leaves, with fine-hairy stipular sheaths (ocrea) 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.[3] Persicaria virginiana is easily distinguished from most other Persicaria species 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 variegation or have more involved red patterning, and sometimes having red or pink flowers.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Persicaria virginiana has a wide native range throughout most of Eastern North America, from Ontario and Quebec, south to Florida, and west as far as Texas, Nebraska, and Minnesota.[2][5]

It naturally occurs in full to partial shade, on riverbanks, woods, cliffs, and rocks.[6]


Many variegated cultivars exist. The plant prefers medium to moist soil and full sun to part shade.[7]


  1. ^ "Persicaria virginiana (L.) Gaertn.", Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden
  2. ^ a b "Persicaria virginiana", Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA, retrieved 12 October 2015
  3. ^ a b David M., Brandenburg (2010), National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, New York: Sterling Publishing, p. 432, ISBN 978-1402741548
  4. ^ Hinds, Harold R.; Freeman, Craig C. (2005), "Persicaria virginiana", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.), Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA), vol. 5, New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA
  5. ^ "Persicaria virginiana", County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA), Biota of North America Program (BONAP), 2014
  6. ^ "Persicaria virginiana", Plants of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium, archived from the original on 2013-05-30
  7. ^ "Persicaria virginiana (Variegata Group)", Plant Finder, Missouri Botanical Garden

External links[edit]