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