Polygonum polygamum

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Polygonum polygamum
Poly poly.jpg
Synonym Polygonella polygama shown, Photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonella
Species: P. polygamum
Binomial name
Polygonum polygamum
(Vent.) Engelm. & A. Gray
Poly poly dist.jpg
Natural range of Polygonum polygamum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: October flower

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Polygonella polygama; Polygonella polygama (Ventenat) Engelmann & A. Gray var. polygama

There are three geographically distinct varieties: var. brachystachya is only found in southern and south-central Florida and appears to be the most unique of the three varieties; var. cromii occurs primarily in North and South Carolina; var. polygama is widely distributed and appears to be sympatric with var. croomii.[1]


A description of Polygonum polygamum is provided in The Flora of North America.


P. polygamum is distributed throughout the Coastal Plain, from southeast Virginia to south-central Florida, west to Texas.[2]



In the Coastal Plain in Florida, P. polygamum can occur in seasonally wet depressions with Hypericum tenuifolium and Paronychia chartacea; and in xeric oak/saw palmetto scrubs. In disturbed areas it can be found in roadside ditches, clear-cut slash pine forests,wooded beach dunes; and dry sandy spoil material that has been pumped from the river during dredging operations.[3][4] Associated species include Liatris laevigata, Hypericum tenuifolim, Paronychia chartacea and Palafoxia integrifolia. Soil types include white sand and loamy sand.[3]


Flowers in September and October[3] seed mature in winter.[5]

Seed dispersal

This species disperses by gravity.[6]

Seed bank and germination

Physical dormancy does not typically occur, however, some seeds possess a non-deep physiological dormancy.[7]


Polygonum polygamum has been observed with ground-nesting bees from the Andrenidae family such as Perdita polygonellae.[8]

Additionally, P. polygamum has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station to host the following species:[9]

Plasterer bees from the family Colletidae: Colletes mandibularis

Sweat bees from the family Halictidae: Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis anonyma, A. metallica, Halictus poeyi, Lasioglossum nymphalis, L. placidensis, Sphecodes heraclei

Wasps from the family Leucospididae: Leucospis slossonae

Spider wasps from the family Pompilidae: Anoplius marginalis, Episyron conterminus posterus

Thread-waisted wasps from the family Sphecidae: Gorytes deceptor, Oxybelus decorosum, Tachytes distinctus, T. validus

Wasps from the family Vespidae: Eumenes smithii, Leptochilus republicanus, Pachodynerus erynnis

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Nesom, G. L. and V. M. Bates (1984). "Reevaluations of Infraspecific Taxonomy in Polygonella (Polygonaceae)." Brittonia 36(1): 37-44
  2. [[1]] Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed: February 22, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Loran Anderson, Wilson Baker, Angus Ghloson Jr., Robert K. Godfrey, Ann Johnson, Robert L. Lazor, Cecil R. Slaughter. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Franklin, Holmes, Osceola. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. Looney, P. B. and D. J. Gibson (1995). "The Relationship between the Soil Seed Bank and Above-Ground Vegetation of a Coastal Barrier Island." Journal of Vegetation Science 6(6): 825-836
  5. [[2]]Accessed: February 22, 2016
  6. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  7. Heather, A. E., H. E. Perez, et al. (2010). "Non-deep physiological dormancy in seeds of two Polygonella species with horticultural potential." HortScience 45(12): 1854-1858
  8. Discoverlife.org [3]
  9. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.