Spotted ladysthumb

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Persicaria maculosa S.F. Gray; also Polygonum persicaria L.

Common name(s): spotted ladysthumb, redleg, gambetta, redshank, lady’s-thumb smartweed

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


-perennial and annual

-leaves are

  • simple
  • alternate
  • entire


-disturbed areas



-shores of rivers

-may be confused with P. longiseta or P. pensylvatica; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage

Natural History:

-The Cherokee crushed the leaves and used it to treat poison ivy



“Persicaria Maculosa S.F. Gray.” Persicaria Maculosa (Lady’s-Thumb Smartweed): Go Botany, Native Plant Trust: Go Botany,