Sunday, July 8, 2012

Southern Jointweed (Polygonella americana)

June 15th. We took a trip down to Washington County, Georgia – to an area west of Sandersville – to look at one of the routes for the national acoustic survey for bats in Georgia. The last section of the route travels along Smyrna Church Road to end at its intersection with Prosser Road on the Hancock County-Washington County line.

We spotted a small patch of unusual plants blooming on the west side of Smyrna Church Road and, not having noticed them before during our travels, stopped to photograph them.

Plants growing in sandy soil on the west side of Smyrna Church Road in Washington County, Georgia.


Closer views of the plants. The unopened blossoms on the stems give it a striking appearance from a distance.


The stems. The leaves are scale like.


Closer views of the flower heads


Closer views of the flowers.

Close up of a few flowers. These flowers have five white sepals and no petals.  

Subsequently we found plants on June 29th on the north side of Murder Creek Church Rd approaching the Discovery Center in the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Jasper County

Polygonella americana (Southern Jointweed) is native to the United States where it grows in southern states from Virginia to New Mexico south as well as in Missouri and Indiana. In Georgia, it’s been documented in counties scattered thoughout the state. Interestingly this plant has not been documented in Washington County.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources: 
- Name that Plant: Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Polygonella Americana (Southern Jointweed)
- Missouri Plants: Polygonella americana

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Polygonella americana (Southern Jointweed)
- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Polygonella americana

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