Alpine Bistort

Alpine Bistort

name = Alpine Bistort

image_width = 250px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Caryophyllales
familia = Polygonaceae
genus = "Polygonum"
binomial = "Polygonum viviparum"
binomial_authority = L.
synonyms = "Persicaria vivipara" "Bistorta vivipara"

Alpine Bistort (syn. "Polygonum viviparum", "Persicaria vivipara") is common all over the high Arctic. It stretches further south in high mountainous areas like the Alps, Carpathians, Pyrenees, Caucasus and the Tibetan Plateau.

It grows to 5-15 cm tall with a thick rootstock. The basal leaves are longish-elliptical with long stalks; upper ones are linear and stalkless. The flowers are white or pink in the upper part of the spike; lower ones are replaced by bulbils. Flowers rarely produce viable seeds and reproduction is normally by the bulbils. Very often a small leaf develops when the bulbil is still attached to the mother plant. The bulbils are rich in starch and are a preferred food for Ptarmigan [cite journal | journal = Br J Nutr. | date = 1975 Mar | volume = 33 | issue = 2 | pages = 197–206 | title = The digestion of bulbils (Polygonum viviparum L.) and berries (Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Empetrum sp.) by captive ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) | url = | author = Moss R, Parkinson JA | doi = 10.1079/BJN19750024] and Reindeer; they are also occasionally used by Arctic people.

Alpine Bistort grows in many different plant communities, very often in abundance.

As with many other alpine plants, Alpine Bistort is slow growing, with an individual leaf or inflorescence taking 3-4 years to reach maturity from the time it is formed. [cite journal | url = | journal = Am. J. Bot. | author = Pamela K. Diggle | title = Extreme preformation in alpine "Polygonum vivparum": an architectural and developmental analysis | volume = 84 | issue = 2 | pages = 154–169 | year = 1997 | doi = 10.2307/2446077]

ee also

*Flora of Svalbard


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • alpine bistort — noun : a slender perennial herb (Bistorta vivipara) with oblong leaves and reddish white flowers found in northern regions * * * Alpine bistort, a dwarf species of the bistort …   Useful english dictionary

  • alpine bistort. — See under bistort (def. 2). * * * …   Universalium

  • alpine bistort. — See under bistort (def. 2) …   Useful english dictionary

  • bistort — /ˈbɪstɔt/ (say bistawt) noun 1. a European perennial herb, Polygonum bistorta, with a twisted root, which is sometimes used as an astringent. 2. a plant of other allied species, as Virginia bistort, P. virginianum, and Alpine bistort, P.… …  

  • bistort — /bis tawrt/, n. 1. Also called snakeweed. a European plant, Polygonum bistorta, of the buckwheat family, having a twisted root, which is sometimes used as an astringent. 2. any of several related plants, as P. viviparum (alpine bistort). [1570… …   Universalium

  • bistort — [bis′tôrt΄] n. [MFr bistorte < OFr < ML bistorta, lit., twice twisted < L bis, double (see BINARY) + tortus, pp. of torquere, to twist] any of several perennial northern and alpine plants (genus Polygonum) of the buckwheat family, whose… …   English World dictionary

  • Polygonum — Knotgrass redirects here. For the moth, see Acronicta rumicis. Polygonum Polygonum coccineum Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Polygonum viviparum — ID 66583 Symbol Key POVI3 Common Name alpine bistort Family Polygonaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AK, AZ, CO, ID, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, VT, WA, WY Growth …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Persicaria — Taxobox name = Persicaria image width = 240px image caption = Flowering spike of Persicaria maculata regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Caryophyllales familia = Polygonaceae genus = Persicaria genus authority …   Wikipedia

  • Flora of Svalbard — There are 164 vascular plant species on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This figure does not include algae, mosses, and lichens, which are non vascular plants. For an island so far north, 164 species constitutes an astonishing… …   Wikipedia

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