The Polygonaceae family is a family of flowering plants sometimes known as knotweed or smartweed - buckwheat. In total there are about 1200 different species broken down into 48 different genera. These plants can be found world wide, however, the majority grow in the North Temperate Zone.
Generally growing as small herbaceous plants with swollen nodes, there are a few trees, shrubs, and vines in the family as well.
Some of the most well known members of this family are: Wild Buckwheat, Lady's Thumb, Pennsylvania Smartweed, Swamp Smartweed, Curly Dock, Japanese Knotweed, and Virginia Knotweed.
This family of plants is more than just delicate dainty flowers growing in damp soils (as I once thought), they can have large seedpods (as with the curly dock), they can be invasive, they can be used for food, and they can be spotted all around Ohio.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.