Plants annual, 2-15 dm; roots also often arising from proximal nodes. Stems scandent, ribbed, glabrous; prickles 0.5-1 mm. Leaves: ocrea tan or brownish, cylindric, 8-15 mm, chartaceous, base inflated or not, with prickles, margins oblique, ciliate with bristles 0.5-2.5 mm, surface glabrous or appressed- to spreading-pubescent; petiole 1-7 cm; blade broadly hastate to hastate-cordate or triangular, (2-)6.5-13(-18) × (1-)6-11(-16) cm, base truncate to truncate-cordate, margins broadly hastate with lobes divergent, ciliate, sometimes also retrorsely prickly, apex acuminate, faces appressed-pubescent or, rarely, glabrous adaxially, stellate-pubescent or, rarely, glabrous abaxially, major veins often bearing prickles. Inflorescences capitate or paniclelike, uninterrupted, 5-12 × 3-8 mm; peduncle 10-80 mm, retrorsely prickly proximally, stellate-pubescent and stipitate-glandular distally, glands red or pink; ocreolae usually overlapping, sometimes not overlapping proximally, margins eciliate or ciliate with bristles to 0.5 mm. Pedicels mostly ascending, 2-3 mm. Flowers 2-4 per ocreate fascicle; perianth pink or red, often whitish green proximally, glabrous, accrescent, not becoming blue and fleshy in fruit; tepals 4, connate 3- 2 their length, broadly elliptic, 5-6 mm, apex acute to obtuse; stamens (6-)8, filaments distinct, free; anthers pink, elliptic; styles 2, distinct. Achenes included, dark brown to black, biconvex, 3.5-6 × 3-4 mm, shiny, smooth.
Much like no. 30 [Polygonum sagittatum L.]; lvs hastate, to 20 נ15 cm, finely stellate beneath, the basal lobes triangular, divergent; peduncles commonly glandular above; perianth 2.5 mm, pink; styles 2, 0.5 mm; achene lenticular, 3.5-5 mm. Marshes, swamps, and wet meadows; N.B. to Minn., s. to Ga. and Mo. Aug-Sept. (Tracaulon a.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.