Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Coastal Jointweed - Polygonella articulata   (L.) Meisner
Members of Polygonaceae:
Members of Polygonella with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Polygonales » Family Polygonaceae
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Author(L.) Meisner
DistributionNorthern outer Coastal Plain only (Gates County). A single collection site from 1959: "sandy roadside, Wyanoke, SSW of Va. 189 bridge over Blackwater River." Discovered by Horton and Ahles. This site is apparently on the Chowan Sand Ridge landform. However, recent searches in this area have failed to turn up the species there or anywhere else in NC.

Mostly maritime and Great Lakes dune systems, but also inland on bare sandy soil, ME and Que. to Ont. and MN, south to NC, IN, IL, IA. Thus, the NC site was at the southeastern edge of the range.
AbundanceOf long historical occurrence now. Because there are five counties of occurrence in VA, all in the southeastern and coastal counties, two of which lie along the NC border, the species could potentially be re-found in NC, and thus a rank of SH (historical) is best used as opposed to SX (extirpated, with little or no likelihood to be re-discovered). It has a State Status of Special Concern - Historical.
HabitatSandy roadside, in NC. "Maritime dune grasslands, scrub, and woodlands; rarely in xeric sandhill woodlands and clearings inland" are habitats listed in the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora website.
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic Sand Barrens and Glades
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-November.
IdentificationCoastal Jointweed grows only 1.5 feet or less, slender-stemmed, leaves linear to lance-shaped but often dropped by flowering time. The inflorescence is on erect or strongly ascending branches, unlike our other jointweeds. If not in bloom, the plants could be easily overlooked, being as "wispy" as it is, but in bloom a botanist is not likely to overlook or misidentify it.
Taxonomic CommentsA few recent authors have noted the genetic similarity of Polygonella to Polygonum and have lumped the two. Because the two can be easily told apart in the field, taxon editors, including Weakley (2018), prefer to recognize both genera.
Other Common Name(s)Coast Jointweed, Sand Jointweed, Northern Jointweed, Northern Wireweed
State RankSH
Global RankG5
State StatusSC-H
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken 1971, Hampton, NH. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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