I would like to know all the wildflowers of the Northeast US. I know, I know... quite an unreasonable goal, but at least I'll always have something to shoot for. I'm not even going to try to learn all the ornamental garden species. However, I came across a huge patch of this vine behind a house the other day, and it's so odd, I had to try to find it.
It goes by many names, one of which is Mile-a-Minute Vine. Can you guess how fast it grows?
It's a knotweed, family Polygonaceae. There are a number of common plants in this family sometimes called smartweeds, or lady's thumb. They all have swollen joints, something like bamboo. You can see those here- look for the slight thickening at each little brown stipule (tiny leaf-like thing at a joint).
Although this is beautiful, it has the potential to become invasive like the Japanese Knotweed. It's native to Asia. It's also called Russian vine, or Silver Lace vine. It does look very lacy.
To me, the most amazing and totally weird thing is that the flowers have five parts, but that develops into a seed case with only three parts. The one is usually the same as, or a multiple of the other. More research needed on this, I think!
Its botanical name is Fallopia Baldschuanica. Yes, that's the same root as Fallopian tubes. Both are named for Gabriello Fallopio, a renowned botanist and anatomist from Padua, Italy.
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