Lady’s Thumb Discovery

Lady's Thumb - pink flowers in garden.
Lady’s Thumb. Photography copyright © Serena Kovalosky

There’s something special about finding a plant that one remembers from childhood especially when it’s rather uncommon.

I used to see this flower in the vegetable garden as a child (and of course, we’d pull it up!) but it was never as invasive as other plants. It was always a rare and magical find, its soft pink flower spires poking up through a tangle of “weeds.” I never knew what it was until I did some research for this project. Apparently it’s called Lady’s Thumb – an odd name since the flowering spire looks nothing like a thumb. More research forthcoming!

Lady's Thumb - pink flower.
Lady’s Thumb. Photography copyright © Serena Kovalosky

I was delighted to come across a few of them this year (2021) and decided to transfer them to the Flower Wall project where they’d be safe from all the rearranging and transplanting I’ve been doing in the garden.

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And Now for the Science…

Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa) also known as Spotted Lady’s Thumb is a member of the buckwheat family Polygonaceae, a family of flowering plants known informally as the knotweed family or smartweed. Native to Europe and Asia. Erect, spike-like clusters of 1/8-inch pink to purplish flowers with 4 or 5 petals. Simple alternating leaves with one leaf per node — a thicker section on the stem at each leaf joint.
Sources: Wikipedia, Minnesota Wildflowers

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