One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A widely distributed plant of the dock family which grows in wet ground, with peppery-tasting leaves and sap which is a skin irritant.
Genus Polygonum, family Polygonaceae: several species, in particular P. hydropiper
- ‘Polygonum hydropiperoides, Michaux (Polygonum mite, Persoon), is Mild water pepper, found in wet soil and swamps throughout the United States, and flowering from June to September.’
- ‘Some of its family kin include buckwheat, rhubarb, sorrels, docks, bistorts, water peppers, devil's shoestring, silver lace vine, smartweed, and black bindweed.’
- ‘A neighborjoining tree for nine cultivated and 38 wild accessions indicated the incidence of the independent domestication of the three cultivated varieties, benitade, aotade and ayutade, from wild water pepper.’
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