please identify this plant -- Virginia weed? an annual?

I'm in Norfolk VA. I intended there to be only tomatoes in this planter. But now I have this. The blue ruler shown is 6 inches long, to give you a scale.
http://home.att.net/~slither/Dcp16304.jpg
What on earth is it? I have spent an hour surfing for weed identifier websites and they show nothing like it. Is this a weed? Is this an annual? I planted pansies and marigolds and other common annuals in nearby planters and this stuff is popping up in all of them.
Help! Thanks very much.
Lee
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On 5/21/04 11:24 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com, "Serpica"

I can't think of the Latin, but I know it as Ladies Thumbs - its a weed, a pretty weed, but a week. Pull it out and throw it on the compost heap.
Cheryl
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It looks like a very healthy form of smartweed (polygonoum). If so, they you have your work cut out for you. I have this stuff everywhere and it is hard to eliminate. It is an annual that forms spikes of very tiny mauve/pink flowers.
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Vox Humana wrote:

> ... It is an annual that forms spikes of very tiny

That sounds like what we know as "lady's thumb" because of the thumbprint on the leaves. However, our version has somewhat thinner leaves than the picture. It doesn't get very tall, maybe 18". The small flower clusters aren't much to look at. It pulls out easily, but there's always more growing.
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I've found that the better the conditions, the larger the plant grows (like most things, I guess.) The leaves can be fairly small, to rather large, like in the picture. The stuff I have doesn't pull out that easily, especially in heavy, clay soil. The piece that remains happily continues to grow. The stuff can be rather stealthy in that it will grow among my astilbes and is hard to distinguish. It's nasty stuff that invades the lawn and just about anyplace there is bare spot for it to germinate. Since I live on a wooded lot, there is a reservoir of the stuff waiting to sow its seeds in my lawn and planting beds.
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Thank you everybody for the help. I'm heading outside to dig it up. So far, it's not in too many places. Lee
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It looks like some kind of persicaria or epimideum (sp on both could be wrong).
On 21 May 2004 08:24:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Serpica) opined:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Serpica) expounded:

It's a weed around here, although I don't know the latin name.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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A very nice picture of Persicaria in its young stage, In good fertile soil with adequate water it will grow about 2 ft tall and with a spread of up to 4 ft or more, stems will root when they are resting on the ground for a time http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/polygonaceae/polygonum-persicaria.htm
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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to
time
http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/polygonaceae/polygonum-persicaria.htm
Yep. That's exactly what I have. It does root along the stem. Hateful stuff!
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Vox Humana wrote:

http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/polygonaceae/polygonum-persicaria.htm
However, if you have horses, I've read that it's useful for keeping flies off them. (No horses so I haven't tried it.)
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soil
up
a
http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/polygonaceae/polygonum-persicaria.htm
What do you do, plant it in saddle bags? LOL!!
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