climbing false buckwheat

(Fallopia scandens)

Conservation Status
climbing false buckwheat
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Climbing false buckwheat is a native, weedy, herbaceous vine. It occurs in the United States from the East Coast to the Great Plains, in adjacent Canadian provinces, and in Mexico. It is common in Minnesota. It is found in thickets and open floodplain forests, at the edges of forests and woodlands, on river banks and fence rows, and in ditches and disturbed sites. It grows under partial sun in moist to moderately moist conditions in fertile, loamy soil. It usually climbs over adjacent vegetation, and can smother small shrubs. In open areas it sprawls on the ground and forms mats.

Climbing false buckwheat is a perennial vine that rises from fibrous roots and sometimes a taproot. The stem is freely branched, slender, and up to 17 (5 m) long. It spirals around whatever it touches (twining), usually other vegetation. It may be round, angular, or slightly ridged; is slightly swollen at each node; and is often reddish where exposed to the sun. It may be hairless or sparsely to moderately covered with minute, downward curved hairs on the ridges.

The leaves are alternate, up to 5½ (14 cm) long, and up to 2¾ (7 cm) wide. Lower leaves are large and are on long stalks (petioles) that can be up to 4 (10 cm) in length. Upper leaves are much smaller and on much shorter petioles. The petioles may be hairless or somewhat roughened with lines of short, stiff hairs. There is a small, tan to greenish-brown, membranous sheath (ocrea) that surrounds the stem at the base of each petiole. The ocrea does not have bristles or a fringe of hairs. The leaf blade is usually more or less heart-shaped, sometimes arrow-shaped with the basal lobes parallel or slightly spreading. The upper surface is hairless. The lower surface is minutely roughened and often powdery (mealy), never whitish and waxy (glaucous). The margins are untoothed and somewhat wavy.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, spike-like, ¾ to 4 long arrangement (raceme) of several clusters of 3 to 6 flowers each at the end of the stem and each branch, and also rising from the leaf axils. The racemes are usually held more or less erect, sometimes horizontally. The clusters are stalkless or on stalks (peduncles) up to 2¾ long. The individual flowers are on to 5 16 (3 to 8 mm) long stalks (pedicels). The pedicels are held erect while in bloom but droop downward as the fruit develops. The central axis of the inflorescence (rachis) is somewhat roughened with lines of short, stiff hairs.

The flowers are to 516 (3.8 to 8 mm) long including the stipe-like base. There are 5 tepals, 8 stamens, and 3 styles. The tepals are white, greenish-white, or tinged pinkish, and to 3 16 (3 to 5 mm) long when in bloom. They are in two whorls. The inner two tepals are shorter and elliptic. The outer three are inversely egg-shaped and are conspicuously winged. The stamens do not protrude beyond the tepals. The styles are very short and are fused for most of their length. The stigmas are cap-like.

The fruit is a smooth, shiny, dark brown to black, 3-angled, 116 to ¼ (2 to 6 mm) long, 132 to (1.4 to 3.5 mm) wide, seed capsule (achene). It is entirely enclosed within 3 persistent, keeled and conspicuously winged tepals. The fruit is green at first and the wings are flat. At maturity, the fruit is brown and the wings are wavy or lacerated.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Vine: 40 to 500 (1 to 5 m) long

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White, greenish-white, or pinkish

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus) flowers and fruits are keeled but not winged. The achenes are dull, black, and rough.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist to moderately moist. Thickets, edges of woodlands and forests, open floodplain woodlands, river banks, fence rows, ditches, and disturbed sites.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

August to September

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.

 
  10/30/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  
 

Order

Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  
 

Family

Polygonaceae (knotweed)  
  Subfamily Polygonoideae  
  Tribe Polygoneae  
  Subtribe Reynoutriinae  
 

Genus

Fallopia (false buckwheat)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Bilderdykia cristata

Bilderdykia scandens

Polygonum cristatum

Polygonum dumetorum var. scandens

Polygonum scandens

Polygonum scandens var. cristatum

Polygonum scandens var. scandens

Reynoutria scandens

Reynoutria scandens var. cristata

Tiniaria cristata

Tiniaria scandens

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

climbing buckwheat

climbing false buckwheat

false buckwheat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Herbaceous

A plant without a persistent, above-ground, woody stem, with the leaves and stems usually dying back to the ground at the end of the growing season.

 

Keeled

Folded, as in a grass blade, or with a raised ridge, as in a grass sheath; like the keel of a boat.

 

Node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

Ocrea

A sheath around the stem at the base of a petiole formed from the stipules; a feature of many members of the Polygonaceae.

 

Pedicel

On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antenna. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.

 

Petiole

On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Rachis

The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.

 

Tepal

Refers to both the petals and the sepals of a flower when they are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart. Tepals are common in lilies and tulips.

 

Twining

Growing in a spiral usually around a stem of another plant that serves as support.

 

Wing

A thin, flat, membranous, usually transparent appendage on the margin of a structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Luciearl

 
 

Growing on the shore, wrapping itself around another tree.

 
    climbing false buckwheat   climbing false buckwheat  
           
 
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  Luciearl
September 2021

Location: Fairview Twp., Cass County

climbing false buckwheat

 
           
 
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Created: 10/31/2021

Last Updated:

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