Scientific Name:

Herbs, shrubs, less commonly trees, erect or sometimes climbing.  Stem nodes often swollen and jointed.  Lvs usually alternate, simple.  Stipules mostly forming a membranous or scarious ochrea (sheath).  Infl. primarily racemose, spicate or paniculate, sometimes with secondary whorls or fascicles, usually many-flowered.  Fls small, ☿ or unisexual, actinomorphic. Perianth 3–6-merous, in 1–2 whorls, often unequal, imbricate, free or connate, often persistent and accrescent.  Corolla 0.  Stamens (2)–6–9–(16); filaments free or united at base.  Ovary superior, sessile, 1-locular, with a solitary, basal, erect ovule.  Style 2–4-branched or styles free.  Fr. a 3-angled, or 2-sided biconvex nut, often enclosed in persistent, commonly winged perianth.  Seed with abundant mealy endosperm.

[From:  Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of species and named hybrids in New Zealand within Polygonaceae
Indigenous (Endemic)4
Indigenous (Non-endemic)6
Exotic: Fully Naturalised29
Exotic: Casual10
Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Connor, H.E.; Fountain, J. 2009: Plants that Poison: A New Zealand Guide. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Cronquist, A. 1988: The evolution and classification of flowering plants. The New York Botanic Gardens, New York.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.