Pale Knotweed
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Pale Knotweed
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Pale Knotweed, Pale Persicaria, Pale smartweed, Curlytop knotweed, Willow weed • Manipuri: ꯆꯥꯑꯣꯈꯣꯡꯃꯥꯟ Chaokhong-maan
Botanical name: Persicaria lapathifolia    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Synonyms: Polygonum lapathifolium

Pale Knotweed is an erect, persistent annual plant with long, reddish stems up to 1.8 m. Stems in contact with damp soil or water may develop adventitious roots from the nodes. Flowers are pale pink or whitish, very small, in spikes 2-7 cm long, 4-7 mm in diameter, running up the tips of the branches. Leaves are alternately arranged along the stem, 6-20 cm long, 1-6 cm wide, lanceshaped, borne on a short stalk 5-22 mm long, and with indented, often pink to brown central and lateral venation. The lower surface of the leaves is covered in glands, with fewer on the upper surface. Flowering: June-October.
Medicinal uses: The whole plant is antiseptic and astringent. An infusion has been used in the treatment of stomach complaints and fevers. The plant produces a soft white mass, a froth like that of soap. It is applied externally to burns.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Botanical Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.

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