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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, but locally common only in eastern Massachusetts and on Long Island.

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Distribution in Egypt

Mediterranean region.

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Global Distribution

Mediterranean region extending to northwards of Britain, North and South America.

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Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Md., Mass., N.J., N.Y., N.C., R.I., S.C., Va.
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Distribution: Coasts of Europe, Mediterranean region, North Africa, N. America and Asia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Prostrate or sprawling perennial, with a thick woody rootstock, stem much branched, 5-30 (-40) cm long, longitudinally ribbed, glabrous, sometimes almost covered by the conspicuous, silvery ochreae. Leaves sessile or subsessile, 5-15 x 3-6 mm, lanceolate or oblanceolate, ± coriaceous, acute to somewhat obtuse, margin entire or strongly revolute. Ochreae bipartite, hyaline-silvery, sometimes brownish at the base, prominently veined, lanceolate, exceeding the internodes. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-4 in the axil of leaf like bract, white or whitish roseate, ochreolae conspicuous, glabrous; pedicel slender 2-3 mm long. Tepals 5, elliptic-ovoid, acute or obtuse, 2-3 x 1-2.0 mm. Stamens 5-7 (-8), filaments short, anthers dorsifixed. Ovary ellipsoid, trigonus, glabrous, c. 1.5 mm long. Styles 3, very short, equal or unequal. Nuts sharply trigonous, 2.5-3.5 x (1-) 1.5-2 mm, exserted, brown to dark brown, shining.
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Description

Plants silvery, homophyllous. Stems prostrate to ascending, branched from base, not wiry, 20-70 cm. Leaves: ocrea persistent, 7-15 mm, proximal part cylin-dric, pruinose, distal parts silvery, margins overlapping, entire or lacerate; petiole 0.5-3 mm; blade bluish green, lanceolate, 10-30 × 2-8 mm, coriaceous, margins revolute, apex obtuse or acute, rugulose when fresh, markedly rugulose when dried, glaucous; middle stem leaves slightly larger than adjacent branch leaves, distal leaves overtopping flowers they subtend. Inflorescences axillary; cymes uniformly distributed, 1-3-flowered. Pedicels enclosed in ocreae, 3-5 mm. Flowers semi-open; perianth (2-)3-4 mm; tube 12-26% of perianth length; tepals ± recurved, overlapping, white, margins white or pink, petaloid, not keeled, oblong-obovate to spatulate, not cucullate; midvein usually unbranched; stamens 8. Achenes exserted from perianth, reddish brown to dark brown, ovate, 3-gonous, 2.5-3(-4) mm, faces subequal, apex not beaked, edges straight, shiny, smooth; late-season achenes common, 3-5 mm. 2n = 40.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Polygonum glaucum Nult., Gen. Amer. Pl. 1: 254. 1813; Polygonum argenteum Ehrenb. ex Meisn. in DC., Prodr. 14: 88. 1856.
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Ecology

Habitat

Coastal beaches, sand dunes, margins of salt ponds; 0-10m.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering Jul-Nov.
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Life Cycle

Persistence: ANNUAL

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

Reasons: Ranging from Maine to Florida along sandy beaches of the Atlantic seacoast, where heavily impacted due to development, dune "restoration", and recreational use of beaches. Now locally abundant only in eastern Massachusetts and on Long Island (New York).

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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: Many former sites lost to shore development, dune "stablization", and recreational use of "protected" shore habitats.

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Threats

Comments: At sites with heavy summer use, plants may be seen in early summer but lost to beach grooming, ORV use, or sun bathing. Occasionally, large populations are seen early in the season, but fail to survive to reproduce, presumably a result of prolonged drought conditions.

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Notes

Comments

Polygonum glaucum is restricted to maritime beaches along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts south to Georgia. Over most of its range it is rare and declining; populations on coastal islands of Massachusetts and along the shore of Long Island appear to be secure. Seabeach knotweed appears to be related to P. oxyspermum.
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Comments

Also reported by Munshi & Javeid, l.c. from Srinagar. Probably introduced as a weed.
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