Ontario Weeds: Wild buckwheat
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Wild buckwheat, Polvgonum convolvulus
Other Names: renouée liseron, Black bindweed, Climbing bindweed, Corn bindweed, faux liseron, sarrasin sauvage
Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae)
General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.
Wild buckwheat. A. Base of plant. B. Portion of stem twining around another stalk. C. Section of stem with leafstalk, ocrea and 2 flowers.
Stems & Roots: Stems 5 cm (2
in.) to more than 2 m (6 ½ ft) long, slender, prostrate or
twining vine-like over other plants or any available support, with
a short ocrea (membranous sheath) at each node (joint)
Leaves: Leaves alternate (1 per node), arrowhead-shaped with pointed basal lobes and elongated slender tips.
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers small, 5 mm (1/5 in.) across, with 5 greenish to whitish sepals (no petals), in small clusters at tips of short branches or from axils of leaves; "seeds" dull black, 3 mm (1/8 in.) long, pointed at both ends but sharply triangular in cross-section and often partly or wholly enclosed by the dry sepals even after shattering from the plant. Flowers from July to August.
Habitat: Wild buckwheat is a common weed in cultivated fields and gardens throughout all of Ontario and its "seeds" frequently contaminate small grains.
Similar Species: It is distinguished from all other weedy members of the Smartweed Family by its twining stems, its arrowhead-shaped leaves, and its seedling usually having longer cotyledons (7-33mm, ¼-1¼in. long). It is distinguished from Field bindweed by its annual root system with thin, downward-tapering taproot, the presence of an ocrea around the stem at each node (joint), its very small, short-stalked greenish flowers, borne in the axils of leaves or in clusters along short branches, and its dark, sharply triangular seeds.
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