Stems: slender, simple. Leaves: ovate, subcordate, attenuate at base; cauline leaves lanceolate. Flowers: raceme narrowly cylindric, densely flowered, bearing a number of ovoid-conic bulblets at base.
Alpine Bistort (Polygonum viviparum) Glutinous Asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa)
The name Polygonum comes from the Greek, its meaning being "many-kneed," and refers to the enlarged joints of the stems, which are sheathed by the stalks of the long-shaped leaves. The flowers are very numerous in the mountains, are white to rose colour, and grow in dense narrow spikes, which have several little bulbs below the fullblown blossoms. The seeds are red.
Polygonum bistortoides, or Heart-leaved Bistort, is covered with a white bloom throughout. The root leaves are oblong, and the stem ones narrow and somewhat heart-shaped, all with rolled-back margins and conspicuously nerved. The elongated flower-clusters are usually white, rarely pink; they are very dense and are not bulblet-bearing below.