Mild Water Pepper,
(formerly called Polygonum hydropiperoides)
Polygonaceae or Buckwheat Family
Sprawling, weak-stemmed plant, 1/2 to 3 feet long. Pink
to purplish, sometimes white or green tiny flowers, in dense
spikes at top of plant. Leaves lance-shaped, strongly
veined, not opposite. Stems jointed, and above each joint
they are surrounded by a membrane called a sheath. Blooms
in late summer.
Native of wet places. In Wildwood found in wet ditches
along the bikeway.
Smartweeds (genus Persicaria) all have the tiny flowers
in spikes, and jointed stems with sheaths. Lady's thumb (P. maculosa) is very similar, but likes drier, waste places, is more erect, has long hairs on the sheaths, and has blotches on the leaves..