Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Polygonaceae (Buckwheat)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; moist woods, thickets
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:1 to 4 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flowers are sparsely arranged in a spike-like raceme, 4 to 16 inches long. Individual flowers are white to greenish white, sometimes pinkish, 1/8 inch long with 4 pointed-tip petals. 4 stamens protrude slightly from the center. One terminal spike is normal, but a plant may branch and have multiple spikes.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are broad, up to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide, rounded at the base and sharply pointed at the tip, on short stems. Leaves are usually hairy on both sides, but may be hairless on the underside. The main stem is hairless, except for nodes surrounding the main stem at the leaf axils.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is an oval, dry seed with the remains of the style hanging off the tip. When ripe, it jumps off the stem at the slightest touch, hence the common name.


Jumpseed often goes by Polygonum virginianum but the accepted name in Minnesota is Persicaria virginiana.

Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓

Map of native plant resources in the upper midwest

  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants
  • Natural Shore Technologies - Using science to improve land and water
  • Minnesota Native Landscapes - Your Ecological Problem Solvers
  • Spangle Creek Labs - Native orchids, lab propagated

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Anoka County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Heather - Forestville State Park
on: 2010-08-07 15:27:57

This is growing along the river trail at Forestville State Park. Flowering in early August.

Posted by: Linda - Dakota County
on: 2011-07-15 10:33:31

This is just coming into bloom in the woods across the road from our home in South St Paul.

Posted by: Brian - St. Peter
on: 2014-03-16 20:52:36

Jumpseed was in bloom at Vale WMA in Sibley County northwest of Henderson in early September of 2013.

Posted by: Bruce A - Falls Creek SNA. Washington County
on: 2017-09-02 10:54:40

Plant growing on ridge in mixed white pine/oak stand. Plant beyond flowering and has set seed.

Posted by: Laurie - Minneapolis
on: 2018-10-13 10:53:33

Growing in my shade garden. Wet feet. Variegated, with rosy-red flowers. On the small side, however I have not seen it before, so I figure its young. A gift from the birds! 13 October 2018

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-10-13 13:00:49

Laurie, if it has red flowers it isn't jumpseed, though there are several related species that do have deep pink flowers. The alternative is you have some kind of cultivar.

Posted by: Erin Lind - Coon Rapids
on: 2020-10-10 09:06:51

Lots of this sprung up this year when I cut back the nettle in my backyard

Posted by: Maggi Sprague - Riverbend Nature Center, Faribault.
on: 2022-08-20 18:18:12

Saw it growing all along the trail in first part of the park.

Posted by: Laurie Rosenberg - Coldwater Michigan
on: 2023-01-16 17:40:30

Just wanted to add to Erin's post, that I see jumpseed growing with wild nettles all the time on my creekside walks so they must be companion plants!

Posted by: Kathy Doyle - Eagan (Dakota County)
on: 2024-06-21 13:49:32

Found several plants which I believe to be Jumpseed growing on our wooded hill.

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.