New York Natural Heritage Program
Carey's Smartweed
Persicaria careyi (Olney) Greene
Family: Buckwheat Family (Polygonaceae)

State Protection: Endangered
listed species are those with: 1) 5 or fewer extant sites, or 2) fewer than 1,000 individuals, or 3) restricted to fewer than 4 U.S.G.S. 7 minute topographical maps, or 4) species listed as endangered by U.S. Department of Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1S2
A State Rarity Rank of S1S2 means: Critically Imperiled or Imperiled in New York - Especially or very vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to rarity or other factors; typically 20 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or steep declines. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Global Rarity Rank: G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G4 means: This species is apparently secure globally (typically with more than 100+ populations), though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Did you know?
This is the only species of smartweed in New York that has big drooping spikes of pink flowers on glandular hairy red stems. Its seeds may lie dormant underwater for many years until water levels lower and the plants germinate. The species was named by Stephen Thayer Olney, a Rhode Island botanist, after John Carey, an English botanist who travelled to the United States in 1830-1852. He worked with Asa Gray in North Carolina in 1841 and returned to England in 1852. He contributed sections on Carex and Salix to Asa Gray's 1848 Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States (John Carey in The Darwin Correspondence Project,, accessed 16 November 2007).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are only seven existing populations and all of them are either small or under some threat by human disturbance or invasive species. There are 17 historical records and some of these may be rediscovered when shoreline conditions are right for germination and growth. About five of these records have been destroyed by development in the New York City area.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]