Family, Buckwheat. Flowers, dioecious (pistils and stamens in different flowers). No corolla. Sepals, green at first, later with the loose achenes, the whole panicle of flowers, including upper stem and leaves, becomes a ruddy color. Leaves, halberd-shaped (eared at base), mostly clustered at root, but some smaller on stem. Upper leaves clasp the stem with thin, silvery, membranous, stipular sheaths.

Low, sour-tasting herbs, growing from somewhat woody, creeping rootstocks, spreading fast in cultivated ground, often becoming a troublesome weed. So common everywhere as to redden the fields where they grow.