smartweed vs knotweed

smartweed vs knotweed

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

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