As nouns the difference between knotweed and smartweed is that knotweed is any of several plants of the genus polygonum , with jointed stems and inconspicuous flowers while smartweed is any of more than a dozen species of the genus polygonum . Work over a bucket or sheet to catch the jumpers. Maybe, unless you are concerned about introducing it as a weed species onto the rehab property. For more information, see References & Citations, © 2020 Wildfoods 4 Wildlife - Website by Clayton Hamshar, bright pink to pale pink/white flowerheads in small, tight vertical clusters that sometimes droop over slightly, leaves are three times as long as wide and gently taper to a rounded point. This fast growing, robust, spreading perennial was introduced from Sachalin Island, which was once part of Japan. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2017, January 17]. One generally recognizable plant feature of smartweeds and knotweeds are the swollen joints (nodes) where the leaf meets the stem. Though small, en mass they are quite beautiful! Then check the seed for dryness, and if dry enough, remove the desiccant and immediately repack the seed into an airtight container. If no flower you can see, then firmly rub a few of the pink flowers until you rub off the pink papery bits of chaff off –mature seeds are dark and shiny. Submerge the plant material and swish it around to remove all dirt from leaves and roots. Underside is shiny and topside has fine, shiny hairs you can see if you look closely on a sunny day. This is sometimes called heart’s ease, spotted knotweed, and spotted lady’s thumb. Japanese knotweed or Mexican bamboo (P. cuspidatum), is a tall growing, perennial weed which is almost impossible to control. Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae) Replied June 12, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT. This species features numerous common names, including smartweed and pale smartweed. 2015. & Tyrl, R.J., 2013; Stoltenow & Lardy 2015; Douglas, 2004), Caution: Polygonum spp. The white calyx can have a pink, white, or yellow border. The leaves are covered with dotted glands, which can be clear or colored. Cloud, MN. The blossoms are only ¼ inch or so in length. Persicaria longiseta. Keep stored seed in an airtight glass or metal container in a cool, dark place. Pennsylvania smartweed (P. pensylvanicum) is one which grows well on rich, well drained soils and so is a weed problem in crops. The tender, young leaves and stems are eaten raw or cooked. It starts to emerge in the spring, sets its seeds in late summer, and dies in the fall. It can be found most frequently in Napa Valley, the northern Sierra Nevada and a number of other northern locations. Native only to California, this species occurs in some areas of the state, including Mt. The blossoms open on spikes that contain a number of panicles. 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? Reaching 10 feet in height, this plant features erect, stout, smooth, hollow, jointed, grayish, mottled stems that resemble bamboo. Polygonaceae (Buckwheat or Smartweed Family). The blossoms are usually pink or rose, but are sometimes white. The family Polygonaceae has recently undergone a lot of re-classifications taxonomically. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants if Eastern and Central North America. Just grab a cluster of stems and cut with shears. 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. A mature seed is very dark. punctatum) is an excellent honey plant. Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) and closely related lady's thumb (P. persicaria) are a shade gardener's worst nightmare, because they grow best in moist partial shade.Found throughout North America, these native annuals produce thousands of hard-coated seeds. The various species vary greatly in growth habit, appearance, and size. Lacking petals, these contain four to six colorful sepals. Black shiny seeds? * Polygonum minus - Common names include Knotweed or Knotgrass, which have narrower leaves. Seed/ Fruit Size: If you rub off the pink papery seed cover, you discover the very small, black and shiny seed, 5/64 inch (2 mm) long. In the Pacific Northwest, there are four similar species of invasive knotweed that are difficult to tell apart and share similar habitat, impacts and control methods. Certain species are better honey plants than others. Resembling those of peach trees, the sticky, slightly rough leaves are easily identified by a dark blotch, which was once described as resembling a lady’s thumb print, in the center of the leaf. Often low growing, this plant can sometimes be shrubby. Always wash greens; you never know what might be on them…like animal feces or urine. The branched, erect or ascending, jointed, sticky, reddish stems, often hairy, are swollen at the nodes. Lacking petals, these feature showy sepals and a pink calyx. If you intend to keep the seed longer than one year, jar up the seeds in two stages. That said, a number of members of the Polygonum genus are also weeds. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. She told me she was looking for knotweed, but that some folks called it smartweed. It is possible to find smartweeds and knotweeds in both Persicaria and Polygonum genera. Rinse in clean water. Too early. The leaves have a heart shaped base. If viewed through a hand lens, you may see the surface of the seed has three gently rounded ridges running lengthwise. Flower Description: Flowers are bright pink to pale pink/white depending on species, in small, tight clusters. Songbird Diet Index. I doubled my search efforts. It occurs most frequently in moist and wet soils. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). You can test a sample. Greens are good until they become dry and crispy, fade in color, or become slimy or moldy. Ladysthumb / Smartweed. Since there is loads of smartweed around, I would like to be able to determine which are the natives, which are not, and pass that knowledge on to others. Plants occasionally grow to 4 feet tall, but even when mowed repeatedly smartweed often manages to produce flowers. As mentioned above, any particular smartweed species could easily be combined with other smartweed species into a birdseed mix. & Zucc.). Some are quite tall – over 10 feet. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. It is known as dotted smartweed. greens can accumulate nitrates and can cause photosensitization. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Peterson, R.T., McKenny, M. (1968). Depending on the species and how large the flower head is, it can be easy or harder to collect a lot of seed. They bloom at the same time as other smartweed flowers, around August where I live, and are ready for harvest in September. It can be slightly over three feet in height. Spread the collected plant tops out on a sheet or drying screen for a week to dry. They’re major bee plants in the West, Southwest, Plains, and the Southeast. Pennsylvania knotweed. Too early. Retrieved August 1,2017 from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/nitrate-poisoning-of-livestock. Read more about drying seeds and using desiccants. Stems and leaves can be offered to animals, though the greens taste somewhat spicy more like mustard, so animals may not eat greens in great quantity. It is found in all states except Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, Alabama, and Florida. Place in a colander or salad spinner to drain, then layout a towel and spread the greens on the towel and roll up the towel. Then either hang the bundles in the bird enclosures, or set bundles up in durable dry vases for the birds to forage the seed off the stem. Citation: Guenther, K. (2017, January 12) Oriental Lady’s-thumb as wildlife food [Web log post.] The plants are sometimes known as heart’s ease. Time to harvest and cure. Polygonum sachalinense, P. cuspidatum, P. × bohemicum. These emerge from July to October. Retrieved January 6, 2017 from http://www.ct.gov/caes, Stoltenow, C. & Lardy, G. (2015, March) Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock. Of the many species of smartweeds and knotweeds that are found in America, the following are known to be good bee plants. It is known to be an excellent bee plant. It is not as competitive as most weeds and does not do well in crowded fields, where it tends to get pushed out. The Latin genus name refers to the swollen nodes on the jointed, slightly angled stems. The plant is long-flowering and an early flower and a mature flower look almost the same. No seeds? There are a lot of plants in these two genera, so for this monograph I only listed the Virginia Persicaria species. These include swamp smartweed (Polygonum coccineum Muhl. One main difference between the smartweeds and knotweeds is the location of the flowers. U.S. Weed Information; Polygonum pensylvanicum . Longroot smartweed (Polygonum amphibium) They open on jointed short pedicels in clusters, spikes, or racemes. It can be tempting to harvest smartweed too early. This features long, slender, lanceolate leaves. (Accessed November 2015). You may get longer quality by adding with a product that reduces free ethylene gas in the refrigerator. Canning jars and lids work well. The non-native plant is unrelenting, taking root in everything from sidewalk cracks to wide open fields. Common Knotweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) emersum) is called pinkweed, water smartweed, heart’s ease, and tannin plant. Try creating a bundle of flower stems, tie and hang upside down to dry for 1-2 weeks indoors. Sometimes called dotted smartweed, this species is found in all of the lower 48 states except Nevada and Utah. Discard any seed that ever appears moldy. Worldwide, there are over 200 species. They’re also suited to ditches, meadows, coastal areas, dunes, swamps, marshes, clearings, low ground, railroad yards, waste places, thickets, prairies, and disturbed sites. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) I’ve also included pictures of the native Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana) here because it is so easily recognizable, but it does not have the same pink flower clusters like all the others listed above. Comparison of the chemical composition of three species of smartweed (genus Persicaria) with a focus on drimane sesquiterpenoids. Other Persicaria species exist in Virginia, but the flowers look a little different. The Plants Database includes the following 83 species of Polygonum .Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. Giant knotweed is quite similar to common knotweed except this species is much taller and rather coarse looking. Hardy to zone 4, this Asian introduction has escaped from cultivation in some areas and is typically found along fences and walls. Bolander’s knotweed typically produces a small honey crop even in poor years. Reaching six feet in height, this has dotted stems with yellow glands. The chemistry of water pepper smartweed and related species (new genus name is Persicaria = Polygonum) has been described in the following publication: Prota N, Mumm R, Bouwmeester HJ, Jongsma MA. An annual or perennial, this arises from tough rootstocks. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2017, January 17]. Look closely at it and see if you still see the tiny flower with petals. Knotweed is named for the sheath that encircles the nodes on the stems. 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. There are several varieties of this annual. My heart started pounding, "Smartweed," I said, "we are lookin' for smartweed?" North Dakota State University. Members of the buckwheat family, these can be annual, perennial, or shrubby. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica syn. Japanese knotweed is also known as Japanese bamboo, Japanese fleeceflower, and bamboo. The tips and young shoots are eaten cooked and raw in Japan. The genus was segregated from Polygonum. The various smartweeds and knotweeds are found throughout the world. Pale Smartweed Persicaria lapathifolia Knotweed family (Polygonaceae) Description: This annual plant is about 2½–4' tall, branching occasionally. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. Smartweed is an herb. The stems are jointed, with a membranous sheath above each joint. Its close relative, giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), is very similar in app… Up to six inches in length, the foliage can be oval or lanceolate. Lady’s thumb blooms from June through frost. Emerge in the spring and set seed in late summer/fall and die. The shape varies widely from linear to lanceolate or elliptic. Also called silver lace vine, this bee plant is closely related to the smartweeds and knotweeds. This is sometimes made into a rhubarb-like, tart tasting sauce. Valerie Clingerman, Purdue Extension Knox County ANR Educator, demonstrates the identifying characteristics of smartweeds. New York: Dover Publications. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). If you choose to collect it at all. (Burrows, G.E. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Polygonum and Persicaria spp. The honey can vary considerably, according to the location, weather, soil, and plant species. For this writing, I collected bristly ladies-thumb which had smaller clusters and was more work for less result. (1951). They are all large, robust perennials that spread by long creeping rhizomes to form dense thickets. Some people put smartweed directly on the skin to wash bloody wounds. leaves can cause contact dermatitis in humans. The calyx, which is dotted with glands, is usually white with green but is occasionally rose. Ladysthumb (Polygonum persicaria) is very similar in appearance and growth habit, but has stiff hairs on the ocrea that are approximately 2 mm long unlike that of Pennsylvania smartweed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Since smartweed sometimes grows in thick, weedy stands, it is easy to harvest a lot of greens quickly. Tending to granulate easily, this can be white, pink, or various shades of amber. Winnowing is probably not necessary. Persicaria is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the knotweed family, Polygonaceae.Plants of the genus are known commonly as knotweeds: 436 or smartweeds. In California, it has been known to yield a lower quality honey that is darker in color. (Douglas, 2004). Bolander’s knotweed (Polygonum bolanderi) There have been various opinions about how broadly the … Thank you! U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). The terrestrial forms are typically found along shores, swamps, prairies, meadows, ditches, and harbors. Reaching three feet in height, this has forked or branched, erect, reddish stems that are swollen at the base. In natural areas they can be a desirable component of the flora. Many of these species have the same general “look” of the pink to white wand-like flower clusters you will come to recognize. In addition to using the identification guide of your choice, here are a couple of features you should see on this plant: Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Black bindweed (Polygonum convolvulus),  Prostrate knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) have all cause livestock deaths as a green forage, possibly unrelated to nitrate poisoning. USDA, NRCS. Well liked by bees, the blossoms provide bee forage when little else is available. Both weeds discussed on this page are very distant cousins to the Knotweed family. The greenish blossoms open from July through September, depending on location, in crowded short clusters from the leaf axils. Silver fleece vine (Polygonum aubertii) Green or tan seeds? If the greens will be used quickly within days, place the spun-and-towel-rolled damp greens to a 1 gallon zip-lock baggie with 12-15 holes cut in it to provide air and keep the greens from molding (or reuse commercial grape bags with holes). (Douglas, 2004). Its stems can be hairy. Douglas, S.M. About 39 species are found in the U.S. with around half of those occurring in the Great Plains. The blossoms typically open from July or so to October, depending on the species. Cardinals, sparrows, towhees, red-winged blackbirds, bobwhites and redpolls are especially fond of this seed. If you choose to, use a commercial vegetable cleaner or a ¼ cup (60 ml) of vinegar added to wash water as a cleaner. It also has a very strange history. This variable perennial is found in many areas of the country. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. (2004, September) Plants reported to cause dermatitis. Label the bag with the plant name and which animals it should be used for. Label the airtight container with the seed name, date of harvest and which animals it should be used for. The foliage grows to ten inches in length and is almost as wide. Polygonum is a genus of about 130 species of flowering plant in the buckwheat and knotweed family Polygonaceae.Common names include knotweed and knotgrass (though the common names may refer more broadly to plants from Polygonaceae).In the Middle English glossary of herbs Alphita (c. 1400–1425), it was known as ars-smerte. The plants are called smartweed because they have a sharp, peppery flavor and their plant juice makes one’s eyes run. 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. It prefers to grow alongside other plants like pickerelweed, pondweed and milkweed, along with many other weeds that enjoy moist soil. Identifying to the species level often involves examination of the style of papery sheath at the joint (node) of leaf and stem. It occurs in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. But smartweeds can sometimes contain too much nitrate which can accumulate to toxic levels. Smartweed, Persicaria hydropiper, has a name that is deceiving. Pennsylvania Smartweed and Ladythumb (Polygonum pensylvanicum L. and P. persicaria L.) Life cycle: Summer annuals. In the comb, it is very white. Bolander’s knotweed features slender, alternate foliage. Once you are just down to stem and flowers, rub handfuls of the material to dislodge the seeds from the flower seed head. Spreading by seed, this annual reaches five feet in height. If you have the patience and micro-dexterity to deconstruct a tiny flower, you would find five petal-like pink sepals around the superior ovary. Many members of this genus are, in fact, garden-worthy plants. Scott, M. (2013). Knotweed is a highly successful invader of wetlands, stream corridors, forest edges, and drainage ditches across the country. Place seed in a tightly sealed, glass container and store in a dark, cool area for up to 1 year. Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat or Knotweed Family) Genus: Polygonum (some sources use persicaria for the genus) | Species: persicaria, vulgaris, and/or caespitosum (Most common member of this group, at least in the northeastern US, is called Pennsylvania Smartweed – Polygonum Pensylvanicum) National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, St. On the latter, they arise in the leaf axils while those of the former appear in terminal clusters. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [ 2017, January 17]. Native Americans used Pennsylvania smartweed for medicinal purposes. Its preferred habitats are rocky, open areas, especially stony outcroppings. Knotweed is named for the sheath that encircles the nodes on the stems. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. After washing and salad spinning the greens, place a paper towel in the bottom, then loosely fill with greens, but do not pack them in. Bees favor the flowers, which are sources of nectar and pollen although the plants aren’t known to yield honey. Tufted Knotweed ( Polygonum caespitosum var. Many of these species have the same general “look” of the pink to white wand-like flower clusters you will come to recognize. Caution: P. cuspidatum, P. convolvulus, P. aviculare have all cause animal deaths as forage. 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 PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 6 November 2015). Plants are usually calf to mid-thigh tall. 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. They can vary in shape. The amber honey has a pleasing flavor. The shape varies widely from linear to lanceolate or elliptic. 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. Smartweed (also known as knotweed) is the common name given to a whole genus of plants, Polygonum, which translates as "many knees." If you read up on pink knotweed information, you’ll find that the plant is banned in England and considered invasive in California. I do not think there is any particular reason to try to remove the pink chaff except to check that the seed inside is, in fact, mature. The flowers are typically pink but sometimes come in various other shades, including white, green, or purple. Lady’s thumb is an annual plant in the buckwheat/smartweed (Polygonaceae) family. Location: Found in a variety of places; Most species like wet habitats, including roadsides and ditches . Leaves can cause contact dermatitis in humans. The firm, dark green, lance-oblong to broadly lanceolate foliage is over an inch wide and nearly 5½ inches long. In: Fire nEffects Information System, [Online]. Polygonum cuspidatum), an herbaceous perennial member of the buckwheat family, was introduced from East Asia in the late 1800s as an ornamental and to stabilize streambanks. Some of the introduced ones have naturalized and become quite invasive. & Zucc.). They usually grow from a tap root. The plants are called smartweed because they have a sharp, peppery flavor and their plant juice makes one’s eyes run. Smartweed is a common wildflower often found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks. All plants need nitrogen to grow. The seeds will feel dry and will “jump” off the step, hence the name. Opening from May through October, the abundant flowers, ¼ inch in length, open on crowded racemes or spikes, about 2½ inches long. One particular variety (Polygonum amphibium var. pinweed. Usually shrubby, Japanese knotweed is a vigorous plant that forms dense colonies. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. This very floriferous plant is covered with scented flowers that open in dense clusters for several weeks during late Summer. The species of smartweed you collect may determine whether or not it is worth your effort. Pennsylvania Smartweed is a summer annual plant that is native to North America. For that reason in the database I lump those two together interchangeably under Polygonum. a relative of plants such as buckwheat, smartweed, and the Noxious Weed mile-a-minute vine. This plant has no children Legal Status. General Description & Tyrl, R.J., 2013), Some people develop a skin sensitivity from contact with smartweed leaf—so beware if you are wading into a stand of smartweed in shorts for the first time until you know if you are sensitive. The pinkish blossoms open from June through September on terminal spikes. Our specialist responds: "Polygonum persicaria. The first time I collected, I collected the pale smartweed which had relatively large flower clusters. The species favors sandy loams, but is suited to very poor soils. The female flowers can open on separate flower spikes. The small, showy, bracted blooms are brightly colored. The calyx is generally pink but can also be purple, green, or white. Opening on separate plants, the female blossoms droop, while the males are erect. ), curly dock (Rumex crispus L.), red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.), and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. The fast growing, slightly woody, twining, deciduous plant has stems that can grow up to 20 feet annually. The angular stems are marked with lengthwise lines. Found in all of the lower 48 states in damp places and gardens, this annual was introduced from Europe. Habitats Introduced from Europe, this has naturalized in all states except Hawaii, particularly in damp or disturbed sites. The leaves are at least an inch in length although in a few cases they’re much larger. The tangled, slender, tough, wiry stems can reach about 1½ feet in length. Grasp the stem in your hand and strip off the seed. Native Americans used the leaves in treatments of stomach pains and poison ivy. And remember, always avoid the three plants in this genus, Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Giant Knotweed (Polygonaum sachalinense) and Bohemian Knotweed (Polygonum bohemicum) which should never be collected because they are extremely difficult to eradicate, eco-system damaging, non-native plants. Wildflowers: Northeastern/North-central North America. Keep container in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. If the seeds are green or tan, or the pink material does not rub off, you collected immature seeds. The amber colored honey is mostly left on the hives for the bees. Japanese knotweed and its close kin giant knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense) (Figure 2) are native to East Asia, and were introduced to the U.S. for use as ornamentals … The seed is inside the pink papery covering (chaff), so if you vigorously rub the dry pink seed in your hands, the pink outer covering will come off revealing the dark seed. Keep container in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. incarnatum) is known to be a source of honey in some regions. greens can also cause photosensitization (Burrows, G.E. The stems are light green, terete, hairless, and somewhat swollen at the petiole bases. The very tiny, pale green foliage is often heart-shaped. Certain species are adapted to aquatic situations. There is generally an average of 20 pounds per colony. Giant Knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense) Bolander’s knotweed is intolerant of salt. It commonly occurs in all regions. Although the plant is less common than some knotweeds, it is considered a reliable bee plant. : Pale smartweed is a widespread native of North America. Due to their widespread use, the lack of natural predators, and their ability to spread by root and stem fragment… The above-ground parts are used to make medicine. Peterson, L.A.(1977). Either alternate or opposite, the thick, shiny leaves, six inches in length, can be hairy. Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) When the about 60-80% of the white flowers on the stalk turn brown, it is time to harvest. American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. This one features flowers that vary from light rose or dull pink to whitish-green. Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (http://www.vaplantatlas.org). These tall, bamboo-like plants were introduced from Asia as ornamentals beginning in the early 1800's in England and in the United States by 1890. Pennsylvania Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) is very similar in appearance and growth habit, but does not have hairs on the ocrea like that of tufted knotweed. These, too, can be used as birdseed, if you know them and have access to these other plants. Overview Information Smartweed is an herb. Hood. Introduced from Japan and China, this fast growing, invasive perennial has naturalized in some areas. The entire plant is used to make medicine. The flavor is influenced by the weather and soil conditions. For the most part, these are generally found in bottomlands, low woods, moist spots, and fields. The foliage features clear glands. Sheaths surround the lower part of the stems. The leaves are at least an inch in length although in a few cases they’re much larger. The Latin species name refers to the abruptly pointed foliage. It is a summer annual, herbaceous, broadleaved plant that is not well-recognized as being an edible plant. Bees are particularly fond of the flowers although the plants generally aren’t known for yielding large honey surpluses. Once cleaned and fully dried, choose a low humidity day—not a rainy day—to jar up your seed. Virginia Botanical Associates. Pinkhead knotweed plants (Polygonum capitatum or Persicaria capitata) are considered excellent low-growing groundcover by some gardeners.They are also called invasive pests by others. It has a cosmopolitan distribution, with species occurring nearly worldwide. When I find a stand of mature smartweed in bloom, I grab handfuls of the upper portion of the stem and cut the flower cluster stems with scissors and toss it in a bucket, trying to avoid the leaves as much as possible. Water smartweed blooms from July through October. The plant spreads by seed. Leaves are three times as long as wide and gently taper to a rounded point. Does this lend itself as an enrichment item? One particular variety (Polygonum lapathifolium var. Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) is an annual broadleaf.As an annual, it reproduces through seeds that drop near the parent plant to produce … Polygonum spp. 2014. Unroll and transfer the damp greens to storage. This species can produce a small honey surplus. It typically yields 100 to 200 pounds or more of honey per colony. The honey quality can vary somewhat. Ladysthumb (Lady’s Thumb) or Smartweed . c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. People take smartweed tea to stop bleeding from hemorrhoids, as well as menstrual bleeding and other uterine bleeding.They also use it to treat diarrhea.. The two plants share similarities but have distinct differences. Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria) Impacts: Can invade rice fields, pastures, orchards, and irrigated crops; stands of emergent plants can impede the flow of water in irrigation ditches, canals, and drainage areas. Sometimes, they’re hairy, especially along the fringed sheaths. Leaf Description: Leaves are a dark green, entire. smartweed and knotweed (Polygonum spp. It is most common in the lower foothills but can occur to slightly over 5000 feet elevation. Often they’re heart shaped at the base. Pennsylvania smartweed. Just to prove to yourself that the seed is mature, you can roll the seeds in your fingers to break off the plant chaff, revealing the dark, shiny seed within. Opening during late Summer and Fall, these appear on nodding spikes. If so, too early. For storage longer than one week, use a rigid, lidded, airtight container. The USDA Plants Database lists 80 species of Polygonum in the United States. Refrigeration and freezing work well. Let the seeds air dry inside one week. When you find smartweed, you often find them in stands, not as a solitary flower. Polygonum aviculare. Glass or metal works best, because all plastics are somewhat porous to humidity. One of the best species for bees, this is a very good honey plant. These can be erect, climbing, scrambling, or trailing. Stem by stem remove any dried leaves. Many greens are very sensitive to exposure to ethylene gas, though greens themselves are low emitters of the gas. Initially, the aroma can be slightly unpleasant, but it mellows with time. ; SMARTWEED FAMILY [Polygonaceae]) More than 30 species of weedy annual or perennial plants with very small flowers of 5 white to pink, petal-like sepals, growing in spikes or spikelike branches, or in the leaf axils. The rhizomes are white and thin; hence this weed is often called "shoestring". Copyrighted data used with permission. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. As always, the native species are preferable, if you can figure that identification out. Ladysthumb is native to Europe. It's name is Japanese knotweed. Pictures below. The whitish green blossoms, which lack petals, feature five sepals and a winged calyx. Burrows, G.E., Tyrl, R.J. (2013) Toxic Plants of North America, 2nd Edition, Oxford, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Martin, A.C., Zim, H.S., Nelson, A.L. Polygonum (Knotweed Genus) There are a lot of plants in these two genera, so for this monograph I only listed the Virginia Persicaria species. During the Spring, the young shoots can be cooked as a vegetable. These open from May to October or so. Giant knotweed and Japanese knotweed both arrived in Europe and the UK as exotic Asiatic plants to be used in fashionable gardens. Some are suited to wet spots, while others prefer dry, rocky, or gravelly soils. This species is an especially good bee plant, particularly in the East. Higher quality ones, which are usually labeled as heart’s ease, have a mild, pleasing taste. Persicaria punctata - Dotted Smartweed, Dotted Knotweed, Water Smartweed. Do not use if greens become moldy, slimy or dried out. * Pale Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolium) - Doesn't have the purplish leaf blotch and same ocrea found on Lady's Thumb. The seeds of smartweed do adhere to the stem fairly well. Polygonum L. – knotweed Species: Polygonum pensylvanicum L. – Pennsylvania smartweed Subordinate Taxa. Sometimes called pinkweed, this species is found in all states except Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, and Washington. One particular variety (Polygonum punctatum var. It grows in swamps, low ground, wet places, moist meadows, and along shores. It can … Smartweed seeds are heavily consumed by ducks, small birds, and small mammals. Some are branched and grow to less than a foot in height. Several varieties of the plant can be found. Water smartweed can assume a loosely spreading growth habit. Persicaria (Smartweed Genus) AND. Recommended Smartweeds and Knotweed Species for Bees This species is quite floriferous and is covered with small flowers, up to ½-inch in length. First, jar the seeds up using a desiccant for up to 1 week. Other common names include spotted lady's thumb and redshank. However, there are at least three plants in this genus, Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Giant Knotweed (Polygonaum sachalinense) and Bohemian Knotweed (Polygonum bohemicum) which should never be collected because they are extremely difficult to eradicate, eco-system damaging, non-native plants. The pink or white blossoms with deeply colored veins open from the upper leaf axils. The seeds or fruits are also eaten. It spreads mostly by rhizomes, which can be over 40 feet in length. Townsend, J. F. (2015, April) Rare Plants Natural Heritage Technical Report 15-10. Water Smartweed (Polygonym punctatum) amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc). But for plants that are more susceptible accumulating nitrates, drought, reduced sunlight, excessive soil nitrogen from excess fertilization can over-accumulate nitrates  because the plant is not growing and utilizing the nitrogen it has absorbed. Pennsylvania smartweed produces lots of pollen. The foliage can be rough on both surfaces and quite hairy. Then lay a paper towel on top and put on lid. It can be difficult to identify smartweeds down to the species level. Anonymous Guest. Variable in shape, the alternate leaves can be eight inches in length. Generally alternate, the leaves, which grow to six inches in length and feature scalloped edges, can vary in shape. Phytochemistry Retrieved: readers supply the date, from http://wildfoods4wildlife.com. And others of the non-native polygonum species can be quite aggressive and push out native species, so care should always be taken to manage the dung from cage clean outs to not spread the seed further into the wild. Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. The others, known as smartweed honey, are usually darker colored and stronger flavored. Knotweed is a see also of smartweed. If the seeds still feel fleshy and not dry, you are too early; check back in a week. (Unpublished Report) Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. There is also a perennial smartweed, swamp smartweed (P. amphimbium L.). The very variable plant is similar to lady’s thumb except for the flower color. Fortunately, their blooms looks much different than what is pictured above. A number of water smartweed varieties occur in some areas. For storage, there are a couple of different possible container methods. Sometimes, the offshoots spread as well. P. sahalinense is similar but much more robust. Refrigeration and freezing works well, but allow container to warm to room temperature before opening. The colorful part of the blossom is the perianth, which is often pink or red. If you have access to it, you can include these seeds in with your smartweed seed mix.

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