Fallopia scandens (Climbing False Buckwheat)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||annual, perennial|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist woods, thickets, fields, roadsides|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||3 to 15 foot vine|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Erect, unbranched racemes of short-stalked flowers arising from the leaf axils all along the twining stems. Flowers are about 1/8 inch long with 5 light green to white or rarely pinkish tepals (petals and similar sepals), the outer 3 strongly winged with a pale ruffle. Inside are 8 greenish white stamens and a 3-parted style. Flowers are initially erect to spreading, briefly opening at the tip of the cluster, but quickly droop as they set fruit.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are simple and alternate, ¾ to 5½ inches long and ¾ to 2¾ inches wide, heart to arrowhead shaped, the basal lobes often angled, the taper to the sharply pointed tip often concave. Surfaces are somewhat rough textured from short, hair-like projections (scabrid) along the lower veins, leaf edges, and in rows on the slender stalk. A small sheath at the base of the leaf stalk, called an ocreae, is shed as the leaves become mature. Stems are twining across the ground or on surrounding vegetation, often becoming reddish with age in dry sunny locations, smooth or with rows of short, rough hairs (scabrid).
Climbing False Buckwheat is one of three common vining species in the Fallopia genus in Minnesota and is typically perennial. It is easily distinguished from the native Fringed Black-bindweed (Fallopia cilinodis) and the non-native Black-bindweed (Fallopia convoluvus), by its erect clusters of relatively large hanging fruits with prominent wings on the three outer tepals.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Climbing False Buckwheat plant
- more flowers
- a tangle of Climbing False Buckwheat
- more plants
- twining around Reed Canary Grass
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Ramsey and Sherburne counteis.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?