Polygonaceae Juss.
  • Gen. Pl. 82. 1789. (4 Aug 1789)
  • Buckwheat Family


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Polygonaceae Juss. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-7000000488. Accessed on: 17 Oct 2021'

General Information

Herbs, shrubs, or small trees, sometimes monoecious or dioecious. Stems erect, prostrate, twining, or scandent, often with swollen nodes, striate, grooved, or prickly. Leaves simple, alternate, rarely opposite or whorled, petiolate or subsessile; stipules often united to a sheath (ocrea). Inflorescence terminal or axillary, spicate, racemose, paniculate, or capitate. Pedicel occasionally articulate. Flowers small, actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual. Perianth 3-6-merous, in 1 or 2 series, herbaceous, often enlarged in fruit or inner tepals enlarged, with wings, tubercles, or spines. Stamens usually (3-)6-9, rarely more; filaments free or united at base; anthers 2-loculed, opening lengthwise; disk annular (often lobed). Ovary superior, 1-loculed; styles 2 or 3, rarely 4, free or connate at lower part. Fruit a trigonous, biconvex, or biconcave achene; seed with straight or curved embryo and copious endosperm.

  • Provided by: [F].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • 6
    • ]. 

    Trees, shrubs, vines, or herbs, perennial, biennial, or annual, homophyllous (heterophyllous in some species of Polygonum), polycarpic (rarely monocarpic in Eriogonum); roots fibrous or a solid or, rarely, chambered taproot, rarely tuberous. Stems prostrate to erect, sometimes scandent or scapose, solid or hollow, rarely with recurved spines (some species of Persicaria), glabrous or pubescent, sometimes glandular; nodes swollen or not; tendrils absent (except in Antigonon and Brunnichia); branches free (adnate to stems distal to nodes and appearing to arise internodally in Polygonella); caudex stems (subfam. Eriogonoideae) tightly compact to spreading and at or just below the soil surface or spreading to erect and above the soil surface, woody; aerial flowering stems prostrate or decumbent to erect, arising at nodes of caudex branches, at distal nodes of aerial branches, or directly from the root, slender to stout and solid or slightly to distinctly fistulose, rarely disarticulating in ringlike segments (Eriogonum). Leaves deciduous (persistent in Coccoloba and sometimes more than 1 year in Antigonon, Eriogonum, Chorizanthe, and Polygonella), basal or basal and cauline, rosulate, mostly alternate, infrequently opposite or whorled; stipule (ocrea) absent (subfam. Eriogonoideae, possibly vestigial in some perennial species of Chorizanthe) or present (subfam. Polygonoideae), persistent or deciduous, cylindric to funnelform, sometimes 2-lobed (Polygonum), chartaceous, membranous, coriaceous or partially to entirely foliaceous; petiole present or absent, rarely articulate basally (Fagopyrum, Polygonella, Polygonum), rarely with extrafloral nectaries (Fallopia, Muehlenbeckia); blade simple, margins entire, occasionally crenulate, crisped, undulate, or lobed, rarely awn-tipped (Goodmania). Inflorescences terminal or terminal and axillary, cymose and dichotomously or trichotomously branched, or racemose, umbellate, or capitate (subfam. Eriogonoideae; or spikelike, racemelike, paniclelike, cymelike, or, rarely, capitate (subfam. Polygonoideae), comprising simple or branched clusters of compound inflorescences; bracts absent (subfam. Polygonoideae), or 2-10+, usually connate proximally or to 1/ 2 their length, rarely perfoliate, foliaceous or scalelike, margins entire, sometimes awn-tipped (subfam. Eriogonoideae, rarely absent in Eriogonum), glabrous or pubescent; peduncle present or absent; clusters of flowers subtended by involucral bracts or enclosed in typically nonmembranous tubular involucres (subfam. Eriogonoideae) or subtended by connate bracteoles forming a persistent membranous tube (ocreola) (subfam. Polygonoideae). Pedicels present or absent, rarely accrescent (Brunnichia), articulate to flowers. Flowers usually bisexual, sometimes bisexual and unisexual on same or different plants, rarely unisexual only, 1-many, often with stipelike base distal to articulation; perianth persistent, often accrescent in fruit, often greenish, white, pink, yellow, red, or purple, rarely winged or keeled (Fallopia and some species of Polygonum), campanulate to urceolate, sometimes membranous, indurate (Brunnichia and Emex), or fleshy (Coccoloba, Muehlenbeckia, and some species of Persicaria) in fruit, rarely developing raised tubercles proximally (Rumex), glabrous or pubescent, sometimes glandular or glandular-punctate; tepals 2-6, distinct or connate proximally and forming tube, usually in 2 whorls, petaloid or sepaloid, dimorphic or monomorphic, rarely coriaceous (Lastarriaea), entire, emarginate, or lobed to laciniate apically, rarely awn-tipped (Lastarriaea); nectary a disk at base of ovary or glands associated with bases of filaments; stamens (1-)6-9,

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 

    Morphology

    Seeds with abundant mealy endosperm and often excentric embryo

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Ovary superior, sessile, 1-celled; styles 2–4, usually free; ovule solitary, basal, sessile or stalked

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Fruit an indehiscent trigonous or 2-sided nut

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Flowers hermaphrodite, polygamous or dioecious, actinomorphic, small and inconspicuous

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Stamens usually 6–9, rarely more; filaments free or united at the base; anthers 2-celled, opening lengthwise

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Disk annular or central

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Sepals 3–6, imbricate, often enlarged and becoming membranous in fruit

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Petals absent

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Herbs, shrubs or climbers, rarely trees: leaves alternate, with the base of the petiole often dilated into a membranous sheath (ochrea)

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or climbers (more rarely trees), glabrous or hairy

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Perianth sepaloid or petaloid of 3–6 free or connate segments (tepals), in 1 or 2 series, imbricate in bud, membranous, sometimes accrescent, sometimes armed with spines, prickles or teeth

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Stamens (4)6–9, usually inserted at or near the base of the perianth segments; filaments filiform or dilated at the base, free or basally united; anthers dorsifixed, 2-thecous, opening lengthwise

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Inflorescences capitate, racemose or ± umbellate, sometimes branched and paniculate, the flowers usually fascicled and subtended by bracts as well as the ocrea, with or without bracteoles

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Flowers hermaphrodite, polygamous or unisexual, sometimes heterostylous, actinomorphic, pedicellate; pedicels usually articulated

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Branches sometimes with tendrils

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Leaves usually alternate and usually with sheathing stipules (ocreae)

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Seed similar in shape to the nut, with abundant endosperm; testa membranous, smooth or not

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Fruit a nut, indehiscent, hard, trigonous or lenticular, usually enclosed in the ± persistent perianth

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Ovary superior, syncarpous, unilocular, sometimes falsely 3-locular, with a solitary basal orthotropous ovule; styles 2–3, free, or connate at the base; stigmas capitate, peltate or penicillate

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Disk annular or composed of glands

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Herbs, climbers, shrubs, or trees (not in tropical East Africa)

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Stamens 5–9 inE. African spp., usually all fertile, inserted in 1 or 2 series at or near the base of the perianth; filaments filiform throughout or basally dilated, free or conjoined at the base; anthers 2–celled, longitudinally dehiscent

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Perianth inferior, calyciform with 3–6 free, sometimes petaloid lobes (tepals) arranged in 1 or 2 series, often accrescent and then sometimes armed with spines, prickles or teeth

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Petals 0

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Inflorescence capitate, racemose, or ± umbellate, often branched and paniculate

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Flowers actinomorphic; hermaphrodite, polygamous, dioecious, or monoecious; borne in many- or few-flowered fascicles, pedicellate, subtended or not by ocreiform bracts with or without bracteoles

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Leaves usually alternate, often lush, sessile or stalked, usually dilated into an amplexicaul cup (ocrea) at the junction with the stem

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Branches sometimes tendrilous

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Styles 2–3, free or connate below, the flowers sometimes heterostylous; stigmas capitate, dilated, fimbriate or penicillate

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Seed with abundant endosperm

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Ovule solitary, basal, sessile or stalked

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Mature fruit nut-like, fusiform, lenticular, or acutely or obscurely trigonous, unarmed or armed with prickles or (Harpagocarpus) barbed setae

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Ovary 1–locular, superior, sessile

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Plantes'herbacées ou ligneuses, parfois monoïques ou dioïques.'Feuilles'généralement alternes, à pétiole muni d'une ochréa bien développée à bords ciliés ou non mais parfois réduite à une crête annulaire.'Fleurs'solitaires ou en fascicules cymeux à l'aisselle de bractées souvent ochréiformes et groupés en inflorescences variées, à bractéoles nulles, 1 ou 2 et alors soudées en gaine, petites, ☿ ou ♂ ♀, 3-mères ou pseudo-5-4-mères; périgone homochlamydé, ± gamophylle en tube à la base ou à tépales libres, verdâtre ou coloré, persistant et souvent accrescent; androcée variable par suite de dédoublements et d'avortements, à 5-9 étamines toutes fertiles ou certaines staminodiales, à filets insérés sur le réceptacle, parfois ± monadelphes à la base, à anthères basi- ou dorsifixes, à 2 thèques déhiscentes longitudinalement; gynécée à 2-3 carpelles; ovaire comprimé ou trigone, 1-loculaire et à 1 ovule basilaire dressé; styles 2-3, libres ou unis à la base, à stigmates capites, lobés ou pénicillés.'Akènes'souvent accompagnés du périgone persistant et généralement membraneux, lenticulaires, trigones ou ovoïdes.'Graines à albumen abondant, uni ou ruminé et à embryon courbe ou droit, à cotylédons variables.\n\t\t\tFamille cosmopolite, renfermant environ 36 genres groupant 800 espèces répandues principalement dans les régions boréales, beaucoup plus rares sous les tropiques où elles se rencontrent surtout dans les régions d'altitude.

  • Provided by: [C].Flore d'Afrique Centrale
    • Source: [
    • 8
    • ]. 

    Distribution

    Besides the above indigenous genera, Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn., a native of Mexico, is often met with; it is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is known as "Corallita."

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Two genera are confined to Africa and Madagascar

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    A world-wide family, most abundant in temperate regions

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Uses

    Certain species have value as crops, as vegetables, or as medicines

  • Provided by: [B].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Literature

    SELECTED REFERENCES

    Brandbyge, J. 1993. Polygonaceae. In: K. Kubitzki et al., eds. 1990+. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. 4+ vols. Berlin etc. Vol. 2, pp. 531-544. Carlquist, S. 2003. Wood anatomy of Polygonaceae: Analysis of a family with exceptional wood diversity. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141: 25-51. Graham, S. A. and C. E. Wood Jr. 1965. The genera of Polygonaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 46: 91-113. Jaretzky, R. 1928. Histologische und karyologische Studien an Polygonaceen. Jahrb. Wiss. Bot. 69: 357-490. Lamb Frye, A. S. and K. A. Kron. 2003. rbcL phylogeny and character evolution in Polygonaceae. Syst. Bot. 28: 326-332. Laubengayer, R. A. 1937. Studies in the anatomy and morphology of the polygonaceous flower. Amer. J. Bot. 24: 329-343. Roberty, G. E. and S. Vautier. 1964. Les genres de Polygonacées. Boissiera 10: 7-128.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Buckwheat Family

     Information From

    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • A The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • B
    Flore d'Afrique Centrale
    https://www.floredafriquecentrale.be
    • C http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Flora of North America Association
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • E
    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • F Missouri Botanical Garden
    Polygonaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • H CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).