Polygonella articulata is an annual herb, slender, wiry, to 50 cm tall from a taproot, pale-waxy, branched above, leaf sheaths truncate at each node; branches appear jointed at outer ends. Winter plant reddish-brown. Stipule (ocrea) sleeve-like around stem above leaf stalk (Flora of North America 1993+).
Leaves linear, alternate, edges rolled back, to 2 cm long, 0.1 cm wide, base jointed at juncture with sheath.
Flowers pink-white, radially symmetrical, to 0.2 cm, 5 petals, 8 stamens, each flower above a tiny, sheathing bract; inflorescences unbranched, to 3.5 cm long; blooming and fruiting Aug.-Oct.
Fruit dry, 1-seeded achene 0.2 cm.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Open, dry, sandy soil of coastal areas.