Polygonaceae, the buckwheat, smartweed or knotweed family.
Plant: Erect, sometimes branching plant 1'-4', with upright, dense cylindrical clusters of small pink flowers. Flower stalks are sticky-hairy. Perennial
Flowers: Tiny, pink, about 1/8" across, in erect, dense, cylindrical spikes 1/2"-2" long. Four to six (often five) petal-like sepals; petals are absent.
Leaves: Alternate, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 4"-6", petioles short, margins smooth. Characteristic sheath where leaf emerges is hairless
Fruit: Two-sided seeds
Habitat: Moist waste areas, gardens and fields.
This native smartweed is distinguished from the similar Pale or Dock-leafed Smartweed
by having erect rather than arching flower clusters.
This and other smartweeds have recently been placed in the genus Persicaria
by some authorities.
Where to find it:
I have seen this plant at the Jefferson Road end of the slough that runs along the
entrance road, also in a wet, weedy area by the west trail.
The plants do not seem to be particularly long-lived, so location may not