Bistorta vivipara (L.) Delarbre, Fl. Auvergne ed. 2, 2:516. 1800 (Syn: (≡) Persicaria vivipara (L.) Ronse Decr.; (≡) Polygonum viviparum L. (basionym)) as per GRIN;
Persicaria vivipara (L.) Ronse Decr., Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 98: 368 1988. (Syn: Bistorta americana Raf.; Bistorta insularis (Maximova) Soják; Bistorta macounii (Small) Greene; Bistorta vivipara (L.) Delarbre; Bistorta vivipara (L.) Gray; Bistorta vivipara subsp. fugax (Small) Soják; Bistorta vivipara subsp. macounii (Small ex Macoun) Soják; Bistorta vivipara f. ramosa Nakai; Bistorta vivipara var. roessleri (Beck) F.Maek.; Colubrina vivipara (L.) Montandon; Polygonum bulbiferum Royle ex Bab.; Polygonum fugax Small (Unresolved); Polygonum macounii Small; Polygonum viviparum L.; Polygonum viviparum var. macounii (Small) Hultén) as per The Plant List;
Subarctic & Subalpine: Afghanistan, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aleutian Is., Altay, Amur, Arizona, Austria, Baltic States, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colorado, Czechoslovakia, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Finland, France, Føroyar, Germany, Great Britain, Greenland, Iceland, Idaho, Inner Mongolia, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kuril Is., Labrador, Magadan, Maine, Manchuria, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, Mongolia, Montana, Myanmar, Nepal, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Newfoundland, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nunavut, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Poland, Primorye, Qinghai, Québec, Romania, Sakhalin, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Spain, Svalbard, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tuva, Ukraine, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia, Yukon as per POWO;
Common name: Alpine Bistort, Alpine Knotweed, Harerug
As per flora of China, one of the major differences between B. vivipara and B. macrophylla is the presence of bulbills in the lower parts of the inflorescence in P. vivipara.

Polygonum viviparum (syn. Polygonum viviparum, Persicaria vivipara), commonly known as Alpine Bistort, 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, which are small bulb-like structures that develop in the axils of the leaves and may develop into new plants. 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 Rock Ptarmigan[1] 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.[2]
(From Wikipedia on 8.6.13)


Flora of Uttarakhand- Herb6 for Id- JM:
Wild Herb captured on 13/8/10 during the trek from Ghangaria (around 11,000 ft.) to Hemkunt Sahib (around 14000 ft.).

 – I think this one is also Polygonum affine. (Bistorta affinis).

The no. of styles is 3 in Bistorta while in Persicaria it is 1 which is generally bifid or trifid.

In that case above pic is showing three styles!!

Yes …, my first reaction was also Polygonum affine, but thought plants are not that tall in P. affine.

-But leaves look different from another thread as below on Polygonum affine:…

The “bubils” seen in place of the lower flowers on the spikes, are a characteristic of Persicaria vivipara. So, I believe this is Persicaria vivipara.
Also, lower leaves are stalked and the upper ones are stalkless in that species, as seen in the plant here.

Wild herb for ID (01/07/2011 – NSJ-01):
A wild herb for ID. Looks like grass flower.
Location – Hunder, Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Altitude – 15000 feet, found in grassland near water stream
Habitat – Wild herb around 1 foot tall
Date June 09, 2011

Looks like Bistorta vivipara. Pl share some more photos, if possible.

Unfortunately these are the only two photos available.


VOF Week: Polygonaceae sp (Persicaria ???) at VoF:  Sharing few photographs of Polygonaceae sp. Looks like some Persicaria sp.
Location: VoF

Is this Persicaria vivipara, as suggested by … for similar plant? Anyways very nice pics

Thanks …

VoF Week: Persicaria sp from Valley:

Persicaria sp from Valley
Can This be P vivipara
pls validate

I think yes. Nice photographs

Bistorta sp. from Paddar valley J&K. 02 : Attachments (2). 5 posts by 4 authors.
Request for identification
Kindly identify this Polygonaceae plant.
Location: Paddar valley J&K.
Date: 2nd August 2011
Altitude: 3300 meters asl

I would guess Persicaria vivipara

Polygonum viviparum; now Bistorta vivipara (L.) S.F.Gray.
In inflorescence some of the flowers are replaced by bulbils which fall on ground and produce new plants frequently. Though it is not true viviparous species.


Polygonum Fortnight.Polygonum vivipara from Churdhar in Sirmour Distt.HP : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2).
Shot from Churdhar at 3500 mt in Sirmour Dist of HP

Very nice picture of Bistorta vivipara (L.) S.F. Gray. The characteristic bulbils can be seen in the spike. Would appreciate if you upload the leaf and ochrea images too.

Polygonaceae fortnight Persicaria vivipara (L.) Ronse Decr. SN May 01 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).
Persicaria vivipara (L.) Ronse Decr. (= Polygonum viviparum) – Rhizome seen in Nepal.

Thanks for this upload …! Are they being used for some medicinal purpose? Would you kindly mention the exact locality in Nepal?

Persicaria sp. (Family: Polygonaceae). I think Persicaria vivipara??
Location: VoF

I agree with you … Nice pics, somehow I only shot the terminal part of the spike.. will share my clicks..

POLYGONACEAE FORTNIGHT 1-14 May 2014: Polygonum viviparum from Himachal GSG-06 : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (1).
Kindly find below an image of Polygonum viviparum. Do we need any more examples of vivipary? 

Beautiful. The actual character behind the specific epithet (word). Many flowers get modified into bulbils. However, it is not vivipary in true sense since the seeds are not formed.

Very beautiful …  Clearly justifies specific epithet..thanks for showing this unique photo..


Plant for ID :: Hemkund, Uttarakhand :: Aug 2018 :: ARKOCT-17 : 7 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (4)
Saw these near Hemkund, Uttarakhand in Aug 2018.

The characteristic leaves are visible here, therefore, B. vaccinifolia is ruled out.
Bistorta vivipara (L.) Delabre is a good choice.

Bistorta macrophylla (d.don) soják  ??

I will also agree with … for Bistorta vivipara in comparision to Bistorta macrophylla


Polygonaceae Fortnight- Persicaria vivipara?? from VOF:: NS May 23 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
This Persicaria was shot from Valley of Flowers area, Uttrakhand, I could not take complete pics, whatever images I have suggest this to be Persicaria vivipara
Please suggest..

Cant see the characteristic bulbils in the inflorescence. Could you upload some more pictures …?

I do not have any other pics..

I always get confused between two, I wonder if I have in my collection. I will upload soon.


I think this is from Polygonaceae.
These pictures are again from Spiti valley Jun
Please ID

Interesting! Would appreciate if you please upload some leaf pictures? Cant see any detail in the uploaded habit pic.

Sorry. These are the only pictures. Paucity of time…to remain with the group often results in failing to get the imp. characters. 🙁

You can provide some details by cropping from the first picture.

Seems closer to Bistorta vivipara in which lower flowers modified into bulbils.


PLANT FOR ID 136 SMP JUN 09 Lahaul Spiti – indiantreepix | Google Groups:
JUN 09 Lahaul Spiti


Bistorta vivipara- Hunder, Nubra, Ladakh: 1 5 images.
In the wild area of a hotel, in Hunder, in Nubra, Ladakh, on 16.6.22.



POWO  Catalogue of Life  GRIN (Bistorta vivipara (L.) Delarbre as accepted name) Flora of Pakistan (Bistorta vivipara (L.) S. F. Gray) Annonated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal (Bistorta vivipara (L.) Gray) Flora of North America (Bistorta vivipara (L.) Gray)  The Plant List  Flora of China (Polygonum viviparum var. viviparum)  Wikipedia  Flowers of India