Creeping Himalayan Knotweed
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Creeping Himalayan Knotweed
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Creeping Himalayan Knotweed • Manipuri: ꯐꯛꯄꯥꯢ Phakpai, Fakpai
Botanical name: Persicaria posumbu    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Polygonum posumbu, Polygonum decumbens

Creeping Himalayan Knotweed is a very slender, perennial herb, usually creeping below with rising up branches, branches hairless, 25-30 cm high. Flowers are borne in a very slender, interrupted, few flowered, thread-like raceme, at branch-ends or in leaf-axils, 3-10 cm long, carried on almost equally long flower-cluster-stalk. Ochreolae interrupted, 0.3-0.4 mm long, lax, tubular, fringed with hairs at the mouth, cilia shorter than ochreolae. Flowers are white or pink, nearly stalkless. Tepals are 5, in two series, about 2.5 mm long, outer two are boat shaped, inner three flat, oblong, blunt, eglandular. Stamens are 5-6, equal, filaments long, anthers basifixed. Ovary is trigonous with 3 styles, stigmas capitate. Leaves are stalked, leaf-stalk bristly hairy, up to 5 mm long, 2-12.5 x 0.5-1.8 cm, elliptic to elliptic-lanceshaped, entire, with pointed base and with a tail to tapering tip, midrib, undersurface and margins hairless to sparsely, bristlyly hairy. Ochreae tubular, sparingly bristly, 0.5-1.0 cm long, fringed with hairs at the mouth, cilia stiff equalling or slightly longer than the tube. Nut is trigonous, 2.0-2.5 x 1-1.5 mm, black, shining. Creeping Himalayan Knotweed is found in the Himalayas to China and SE Asia. Flowering: May-October.
Medicinal uses: In Manipur, crushed leafy shoot is used for local application on forehead against fever.

Identification credit: Thingnam Girija Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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