The leaves are covered with dotted glands, which can be clear or colored. There are many different kinds of smartweed, some grow in wet areas, some in drier habitats, but they all have one characteristic in common that gives them the collective name of smartweed, they all have an acrid, or … Smartweed will grow in all parts of the slough with less than about 16 inches of water. The blossoms are usually pink or rose, but are sometimes white. Swamp smartweed resembles Pennsylvania smartweed and ladysthumb in appearance; however, it is usually much larger and is a perennial that can reproduce by long, creeping, woody rhizomes. The Latin genus name refers to the swollen nodes on the jointed, slightly angled stems. Smartweed has been used medicinally for many ailments including diarrhea, cleaning wounds, heart ailments, stomach aches, sore throats and stopping bleeding. Some people put smartweed directly on the skin to wash bloody wounds. White Water Lily . It typically yields 100 to 200 pounds or more of honey per colony. A robust plant often branches … CATCH THE BUZZ- PennDOT Pollinator Gardens, CATCH THE BUZZ – From the Military to Beekeeping, CATCH THE BUZZ – Lawn, ”An ecologist has to wonder, why is this even here?”. The tender, young leaves and stems are eaten raw or cooked. When mowing lawns where seed-bearing weeds are present, collect the clippings in a bagger and dispose of them in a shady place. Flaming. Cutting back perennial weeds again and again not only reduces reseeding, it also forces the plants to use up food reserves stored in their roots. The shape varies widely from linear to lanceolate or elliptic. Weeds that have taproots, such as dandelion and plantain, usually must be pried out. It spreads mostly by rhizomes, which can be over 40 feet in length. They will slide out most easily if you pull them when the soil is wet. The amber colored honey is mostly left on the hives for the bees. It considered excellent for fish habitat and good for promoting insect life. Some are branched and grow to less than a foot in height. Usually shrubby, Japanese knotweed is a vigorous plant that forms dense colonies. A number of water smartweed varieties occur in some areas. Its stems can be hairy. punctatum) is an excellent honey plant. Reproduction: seeds from pink flowers in the spike-like clusters Conditions that favor growth: common weed of nursery crops and landscapes; rarely a problem in turfgrass; tolerates a range of soil types and conditions Cultural control: Remove young plants before flowers form They open on jointed short pedicels in clusters, spikes, or racemes. The leaves have a heart shaped base. To minimize damage to neighboring plants, spray only in dry, still weather. In a garden that has gone hopelessly weedy, mowing it down promptly, raking out the seed-bearing debris, and starting over next year is a big step in the right direction. Introduced from Europe, this has naturalized in all states except Hawaii, particularly in damp or disturbed sites. However, due to its invasive tendencies, there is little benefit of having this grow in any habitat. ID Characteristics. It can produce upwards of 20,000 seeds per plant that can persist in the soil for several years so control of this weed before seed set is critical for the backyard grower, community gardener and … Smartweed is a common wildflower often found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks. A flexible pair of waterproof gloves will keep your hands comfortable as you weed, and it's good to have a nice sitting pad, too. They’re also suited to ditches, meadows, coastal areas, dunes, swamps, marshes, clearings, low ground, railroad yards, waste places, thickets, prairies, and disturbed sites. Twenty species of ducks, geese, bobwhites, mourning doves, ring-necked The seeds or fruits are also eaten. Swamp smartweed resembles Pennsylvania smartweed and ladysthumb in appearance; however, it is usually much larger and is a perennial that can reproduce by long, creeping, woody rhizomes. So it's essential to keep weeds from shedding seeds in the garden. The flavor is influenced by the weather and soil conditions. It has been quite successful, naturally colonizing much of North America, Europe, and northern Asia and has been introduced to Mexico, South America, and southern Africa. The small, showy, bracted blooms are brightly colored. Bees are particularly fond of the flowers although the plants generally aren’t known for yielding large honey surpluses. Pennsylvania smartweed produces lots of pollen. A weed that I have gotten many questions and emailed pictures about this spring is Pennsylvania Smartweed. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 1972 - 2020 National Gardening Association, Times are presented in US Central Standard Time, Today's site banner is by arctangent and is called "Sitting Pretty". SMARTWEED Polygonum pensylvanicum L. Plant Symbol = POPE2 Contributed by: USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program Uses This plant is an excellent wildlife food plant, especially for waterfowl. The plants are sometimes known as heart’s ease. General Description Of the many species of smartweeds and knotweeds that are found in America, the following are known to be good bee plants. Opening during late Summer and Fall, these appear on nodding spikes. By restricting water and improving drainage, the weed will struggle to survive. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) Pulling. More numerous on the upper part of the plant, they open terminally in six-inch-long terminal clusters or in racemes from the leaf axils. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google It is known to be an excellent bee plant. If you find that the weeds are breaking off at the crown as you pull, slip a kitchen fork, dandelion weeder, or similar tool under the weed, and pry and twist as you pull it up. Lacking petals, these feature showy sepals and a pink calyx. The Latin species name refers to the abruptly pointed foliage. An annual or perennial, this arises from tough rootstocks. Native Americans used Pennsylvania smartweed for medicinal purposes. Native only to California, this species occurs in some areas of the state, including Mt. It is important that you till during the spring to trigger the germina… Smart Weed Seed. Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) Because of this extensive root system it can be a strong competitor with other plants and is often difficult to control. Swamp Milkweed. Flamers also are quite costly compared to a hoe, but may be a worthwhile investment if you have a number of straight rows to weed. Lady’s thumb blooms from June through frost. Terms of Service apply. Silver fleece vine (Polygonum aubertii) Also called silver lace vine, this bee plant is closely related to the smartweeds and knotweeds. Smartweed, also known as Polygonum hydropiperoides, is a plant that grows in low, wet environments throughout North and South America. A bit of smartweed tucked beneath the saddle was said to keep a horse from feeling hunger or thirst; strewing the plant on the floor was supposed to rid a room of fleas; and just a few drops of the juice reportedly destroyed the insidious worms that were believed to cause earaches. Smartweed is an annual that grows to about two feet in height, flowers from July to September and grows in shallow water and in areas that stay wet and occasionally hold standing water. The fast growing, slightly woody, twining, deciduous plant has stems that can grow up to 20 feet annually. Hardy to zone 4, this Asian introduction has escaped from cultivation in some areas and is typically found along fences and walls. The whitish green blossoms, which lack petals, feature five sepals and a winged calyx. This features long, slender, lanceolate leaves. Sago Pondweed. The leaves are at least an inch in length although in a few cases they’re much larger. On the latter, they arise in the leaf axils while those of the former appear in terminal clusters. Silver fleece vine (Polygonum aubertii) This one features flowers that vary from light rose or dull pink to whitish-green. These emerge from July to October. The species favors sandy loams, but is suited to very poor soils. Some are suited to wet spots, while others prefer dry, rocky, or gravelly soils. They’re major bee plants in the West, Southwest, Plains, and the Southeast. Either alternate or opposite, the thick, shiny leaves, six inches in length, can be hairy. It is most common in the lower foothills but can occur to slightly over 5000 feet elevation. Wetland Plant's : Wild Rice. Pinkweed, Purple-head. In California, it has been known to yield a lower quality honey that is darker in color. This species features numerous common names, including smartweed and pale smartweed. These can be erect, climbing, scrambling, or trailing. Reaching six feet in height, this has dotted stems with yellow glands. The very variable plant is similar to lady’s thumb except for the flower color. Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance, Prairie planting. It is found in all states except Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, Alabama, and Florida. The female flowers can open on separate flower spikes. Smartweed is effective as an extract against coughs & colds & crushing the fresh herb & using it as a plaster for congestion is common practice. The plants are called smartweed because they have a sharp, peppery flavor and their plant juice makes one’s eyes run. Lookalikes. Smartweed extracts have hemostatic properties & they lower the blood pressure. Most weeds reproduce primarily from seeds, and the seeds of some weeds can remain viable when buried in the soil for decades. One particular variety (Polygonum punctatum var. There are several varieties of this annual. Use these convenient icons to share this page on various social media platforms. The calyx is generally pink but can also be purple, green, or white. Overview Information Smartweed is an herb. Water smartweed blooms from July through October. It commonly occurs in all regions. The pinkish blossoms open from June through September on terminal spikes. Lacking petals, these contain four to six colorful sepals. The smallest models consist of a backpack that holds propane fuel, a hose, and a hooded nozzle at the end of a handle that resembles a carpet sweeper. Plant have contraceptive effects. Because of this extensive root system it can be a strong competitor with other plants and is often difficult to control. Garden weeds that are neglected until they reach seed-bearing age can be lopped off near the soil line with pruning shears, a stout knife, or a string trimmer with a blade attachment. Also, there are few human economical benefits. The fast growing, slightly woody, twining, deciduous plant has stems that can grow … Some products contain both clove oil and acetic acid, so they are useful for a broad variety of weeds. It also grows fast, so remove it when you first identify young seedlings. Sometimes, the offshoots spread as well. ), which possesses properties similar to those of the English species; a homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the fresh plant, which has been used with great advantage in diarrhoea and dysentery, in doses of 20 to 60 minims. Opening on separate plants, the female blossoms droop, while the males are erect. The final cultural control method is planting your crops at a specific time. Plants occasionally grow to 4 feet tall, but even when mowed repeatedly smartweed often manages to produce flowers. The white calyx can have a pink, white, or yellow border. One such species is the Water smartweed ( Polygonum amphibium ), which true to its Latin epithet, is an amphibious plant. The honey quality can vary somewhat. Be aware that repeated applications of a product containing acetic acid (which is very strong vinegar) can lower the soil's pH, making it more acidic. Smartweed seeds are heavily consumed by ducks, small birds, and small mammals. It grows in swamps, low ground, wet places, moist meadows, and along shores. The flowers are typically pink but sometimes come in various other shades, including white, green, or purple. The blossoms are only ¼ inch or so in length. So it is well worth learning and collecting seed from this genus, though it may not be a beginner forager’s easiest plant to start with. The foliage features clear glands. Smartweed is a plant that belongs to a group of plants in the genus Polygonum. Closely related plants also in the Polygonum genus are often known as smartweeds. Very young plants can be killed with an organic herbicide containing clove oil. The various species vary greatly in growth habit, appearance, and size. Sheaths surround the lower part of the stems. Planting date: Tilling in the spring triggers smartweed to germinate. This plant was particularly appealing to me because despite it being an invasive weed it flowers beautifully and can be found in a wide array of habitats. is a member of the buckwheat family. Duck Potato. Synonyms. Reaching 10 feet in height, this plant features erect, stout, smooth, hollow, jointed, grayish, mottled stems that resemble bamboo. Oriental lady's-thumb smartweed is an invasive annual of wet disturbed areas, where it can form large stands. Relatively few plants are able to grow under both conditions. This species is quite floriferous and is covered with small flowers, up to ½-inch in length. For the most part, these are generally found in bottomlands, low woods, moist spots, and fields. Well liked by bees, the blossoms provide bee forage when little else is available. Found throughout North America, these native annuals produce thousands of hard-coated seeds. Introduced from Japan and China, this fast growing, invasive perennial has naturalized in some areas. Recommended Smartweeds and Knotweed Species for Bees The various smartweeds and knotweeds are found throughout the world. Polygonum pensylvanicum . Jap Millet. Where to grow. This is an annual weed common to central Ohio that is in the same family as Buckwheat. Creeping Smartweed Persicaria longiseta Knotweed family (Polygonaceae) Description: This summer annual plant has stems up to 2' long that tend to lie along the ground, although their tips are more erect (i.e., they're decumbent). Products containing acetic acid, often in combination with citric acid, do a good job on young grasses. Habitat. Initially, the aroma can be slightly unpleasant, but it mellows with time. This variable perennial is found in many areas of the country. Higher quality ones, which are usually labeled as heart’s ease, have a mild, pleasing taste. The tips and young shoots are eaten cooked and raw in Japan. The greenish blossoms open from July through September, depending on location, in crowded short clusters from the leaf axils. Giant knotweed is quite similar to common knotweed except this species is much taller and rather coarse looking. Notes Juice from this plant may cause dermatitis. Some of the introduced ones have naturalized and become quite invasive. This weed thrives off of moist soil. In the comb, it is very white. The colorful part of the blossom is the perianth, which is often pink or red. Habitats Sometimes called pinkweed, this species is found in all states except Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, and Washington. The plant has naturalized in some states, including Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, New England, and from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. emersum) is called pinkweed, water smartweed, heart’s ease, and tannin plant. It can be slightly over three feet in height. The seed is carminative, diuretic & stimulant. Japanese knotweed is also known as Japanese bamboo, Japanese fleeceflower, and bamboo. Up to six inches in length, the foliage can be oval or lanceolate. The branched, erect or ascending, jointed, sticky, reddish stems, often hairy, are swollen at the nodes. Seed of Smartweed are eaten by all most all puddle ducks and geese. Generally alternate, the leaves, which grow to six inches in length and feature scalloped edges, can vary in shape. Those that contain clove oil (eugenol) give the best control of young broadleaf weeds. The blossoms typically open from July or so to October, depending on the species. They usually grow from a tap root. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc). The terrestrial forms are typically found along shores, swamps, prairies, meadows, ditches, and harbors. To have the best areas for hunting, fishing or just to enjoy the plain soul relaxing pleasure of observing wildlife; all that is necessary is to start a growth of their favorite foods. Water Smartweed (Polygonym punctatum) Getting the root up is crucial, so think of the main stem as the root's handle, and grasp it as close to the soil line as you can. It also cannot live through any hoeing before it grows larger than ¼ inches tall. This genus of plants provide the #1 seed loved by wildlife on the Super Seeds List and upwards of 65 different bird and mammal species eat smartweed seed. Giant Knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense) Flamers become trickier to use later, when the plants are actively growing, and they cannot be used where mulches are present. Most young weeds can be pulled from the soil. Therefore, tilling in early May and planting later (mid-May) will reduce smartweed infestations because many smartweed plants will have emerged and been controlled by tillage. The tangled, slender, tough, wiry stems can reach about 1½ feet in length. These open from May to October or so. Smartweed- Flower. After they have several leaves, pull them instead. Chemical. Plants occasionally grow to 4 feet tall, but even when mowed repeatedly smartweed often manages to produce flowers. Its preferred habitats are rocky, open areas, especially stony outcroppings. Flamers are sometimes used in seriously infested fields. Reduce reseeding by cutting back any plants that manage to produce pink flowers. The blossoms emerge on terminal flower panicles that contain a number of crowded flower spikes, up to two inches long, which are usually interrupted on the lower portion. Smartweed Seed . They can vary in shape. There are several herbicides made from natural ingredients. Life cycle: Summer annual Growth Habit: Prostrate Propagation: Seed Leaf Margin: Smooth Leaf Hairs: Sparse Leaf Structure: Lanceolate to elliptic or egg-shaped Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Root Type: Shallow taproot with fibrous roots Flower Color: Bright pink to white Multimedia During the Spring, the young shoots can be cooked as a vegetable. The very tiny, pale green foliage is often heart-shaped. Mowing regularly helps keep weeds under control in lawns. Certain species are better honey plants than others. Certain species are adapted to aquatic situations. About 39 species are found in the U.S. with around half of those occurring in the Great Plains. The foliage grows to ten inches in length and is almost as wide. The firm, dark green, lance-oblong to broadly lanceolate foliage is over an inch wide and nearly 5½ inches long. This wild grain is an important food source for wildlife, but it becomes a noxious weed when it gets into garden plots and lawns.. What is Smartweed? Bolander’s knotweed features slender, alternate foliage. Worldwide, there are over 200 species. Smartweed. The above-ground parts are used to make medicine. Reaching three feet in height, this has forked or branched, erect, reddish stems that are swollen at the base. Killing a weed requires heat for only 1/10 of a second. The rest will remain open because it is a couple of feet deep I plant the browntop millet straight on the exposed mud. Tending to granulate easily, this can be white, pink, or various shades of amber. Variable in shape, the alternate leaves can be eight inches in length. This fast growing, robust, spreading perennial was introduced from Sachalin Island, which was once part of Japan. Smartweed- Leaf: Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria) Polygonum punctatum: Smartweed I can remember my first taste of a smartweed leaf… kind of like trying a piece of burning paper. Hood. This is sometimes called heart’s ease, spotted knotweed, and spotted lady’s thumb. 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