smartweed vs knotweed
Pictures below. Due to their widespread use, the lack of natural predators, and their ability to spread by root and stem fragment… But smartweeds can sometimes contain too much nitrate which can accumulate to toxic levels. This species can produce a small honey surplus. Polygonum (Knotweed Genus) There are a lot of plants in these two genera, so for this monograph I only listed the Virginia Persicaria species. 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. They bloom at the same time as other smartweed flowers, around August where I live, and are ready for harvest in September. The very variable plant is similar to lady’s thumb except for the flower color. This species is an especially good bee plant, particularly in the East. This one features flowers that vary from light rose or dull pink to whitish-green. I doubled my search efforts. greens can accumulate nitrates and can cause photosensitization. Ladysthumb (Lady’s Thumb) or Smartweed . Replied June 12, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2017, January 17]. ; 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. Leaves can cause contact dermatitis in humans. Tending to granulate easily, this can be white, pink, or various shades of amber. 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. Smartweed is a common wildflower often found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks. In natural areas they can be a desirable component of the flora. It is known as dotted smartweed. 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 … If viewed through a hand lens, you may see the surface of the seed has three gently rounded ridges running lengthwise. The blossoms are usually pink or rose, but are sometimes white. One of the best species for bees, this is a very good honey plant. Label the bag with the plant name and which animals it should be used for. The white calyx can have a pink, white, or yellow border. The calyx, which is dotted with glands, is usually white with green but is occasionally rose. punctatum) is an excellent honey plant. Water smartweed can assume a loosely spreading growth habit. Certain species are adapted to aquatic situations. Stem by stem remove any dried leaves. The fast growing, slightly woody, twining, deciduous plant has stems that can grow up to 20 feet annually. For storage, there are a couple of different possible container methods. Citation: Guenther, K. (2017, January 12) Oriental Lady’s-thumb as wildlife food [Web log post.] New York: Dover Publications. (Douglas, 2004). Hardy to zone 4, this Asian introduction has escaped from cultivation in some areas and is typically found along fences and walls. Douglas, S.M. 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 known to be an excellent bee plant. Townsend, J. F. (2015, April) Rare Plants Natural Heritage Technical Report 15-10. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Work over a bucket or sheet to catch the jumpers. The flowers are typically pink but sometimes come in various other shades, including white, green, or purple. 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. The firm, dark green, lance-oblong to broadly lanceolate foliage is over an inch wide and nearly 5½ inches long. Water smartweed blooms from July through October. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Read more about drying seeds and using desiccants. 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. That said, a number of members of the Polygonum genus are also weeds. Habitats Usually shrubby, Japanese knotweed is a vigorous plant that forms dense colonies. As mentioned above, any particular smartweed species could easily be combined with other smartweed species into a birdseed mix. 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. Other Persicaria species exist in Virginia, but the flowers look a little different. The first time I collected, I collected the pale smartweed which had relatively large flower clusters. One particular variety (Polygonum amphibium var. This features long, slender, lanceolate leaves. They usually grow from a tap root. It commonly occurs in all regions. Higher quality ones, which are usually labeled as heart’s ease, have a mild, pleasing taste. No seeds? It typically yields 100 to 200 pounds or more of honey per colony. The species favors sandy loams, but is suited to very poor soils. Native Americans used the leaves in treatments of stomach pains and poison ivy. Caution: P. cuspidatum, P. convolvulus, P. aviculare have all cause animal deaths as forage. 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. incarnatum) is known to be a source of honey in some regions. Let the seeds air dry inside one week. Lady’s thumb blooms from June through frost. Polygonum aviculare. 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. Giant knotweed is quite similar to common knotweed except this species is much taller and rather coarse looking. An annual or perennial, this arises from tough rootstocks. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) 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? The seeds of smartweed do adhere to the stem fairly well. The colorful part of the blossom is the perianth, which is often pink or red. Some are quite tall – over 10 feet. Spreading by seed, this annual reaches five feet in height. Overview Information Smartweed is an herb. Polygonum spp. It can … Retrieved August 1,2017 from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/nitrate-poisoning-of-livestock. The foliage can be rough on both surfaces and quite hairy. 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.. Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) is an annual broadleaf.As an annual, it reproduces through seeds that drop near the parent plant to produce … Of the many species of smartweeds and knotweeds that are found in America, the following are known to be good bee plants. Many of these species have the same general “look” of the pink to white wand-like flower clusters you will come to recognize. 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. ), curly dock (Rumex crispus L.), red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.), and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. This is sometimes called heart’s ease, spotted knotweed, and spotted lady’s thumb. About 39 species are found in the U.S. with around half of those occurring in the Great Plains. Pennsylvania Smartweed and Ladythumb (Polygonum pensylvanicum L. and P. persicaria L.) Life cycle: Summer annuals. Initially, the aroma can be slightly unpleasant, but it mellows with time. Too early. Phytochemistry One main difference between the smartweeds and knotweeds is the location of the flowers. Keep container in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Giant Knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense) If you choose to collect it at all. American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. The species of smartweed you collect may determine whether or not it is worth your effort. The rhizomes are white and thin; hence this weed is often called "shoestring". 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 are called smartweed because they have a sharp, peppery flavor and their plant juice makes one’s eyes run. 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. Japanese knotweed or Mexican bamboo (P. cuspidatum), is a tall growing, perennial weed which is almost impossible to control. 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. You may get longer quality by adding with a product that reduces free ethylene gas in the refrigerator. 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. Comparison of the chemical composition of three species of smartweed (genus Persicaria) with a focus on drimane sesquiterpenoids. This species features numerous common names, including smartweed and pale smartweed. Some people put smartweed directly on the skin to wash bloody wounds. Knotweed is a see also of smartweed. Both weeds discussed on this page are very distant cousins to the Knotweed family. My heart started pounding, "Smartweed," I said, "we are lookin' for smartweed?" The leaves are at least an inch in length although in a few cases they’re much larger. This variable perennial is found in many areas of the country. Opening during late Summer and Fall, these appear on nodding spikes. Since smartweed sometimes grows in thick, weedy stands, it is easy to harvest a lot of greens quickly. The seeds will feel dry and will “jump” off the step, hence the name. These can be erect, climbing, scrambling, or trailing. 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. Opening from May through October, the abundant flowers, ¼ inch in length, open on crowded racemes or spikes, about 2½ inches long. The stems are jointed, with a membranous sheath above each joint. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Peterson, R.T., McKenny, M. (1968). Our specialist responds: "Polygonum persicaria. Several varieties of the plant can be found. For that reason in the database I lump those two together interchangeably under Polygonum. It has a cosmopolitan distribution, with species occurring nearly worldwide. Reaching 10 feet in height, this plant features erect, stout, smooth, hollow, jointed, grayish, mottled stems that resemble bamboo. Emerge in the spring and set seed in late summer/fall and die. Retrieved: readers supply the date, from http://wildfoods4wildlife.com. North Dakota State University. Introduced from Europe, this has naturalized in all states except Hawaii, particularly in damp or disturbed sites. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc). c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. Do not use if greens become moldy, slimy or dried out. Winnowing is probably not necessary. & Zucc.). Lacking petals, these feature showy sepals and a pink calyx. Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae) (2004, September) Plants reported to cause dermatitis. It is found in all states except Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, Alabama, and Florida. The angular stems are marked with lengthwise lines. 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. The leaves have a heart shaped base. 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. 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. For this writing, I collected bristly ladies-thumb which had smaller clusters and was more work for less result. 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 . Unroll and transfer the damp greens to storage. 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) Does this lend itself as an enrichment item? Rinse in clean water. Persicaria punctata - Dotted Smartweed, Dotted Knotweed, Water Smartweed. * Polygonum minus - Common names include Knotweed or Knotgrass, which have narrower leaves. Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. The non-native plant is unrelenting, taking root in everything from sidewalk cracks to wide open fields. * Pale Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolium) - Doesn't have the purplish leaf blotch and same ocrea found on Lady's Thumb. Cloud, MN. Canning jars and lids work well. Pennsylvania knotweed. This fast growing, robust, spreading perennial was introduced from Sachalin Island, which was once part of Japan. Polygonum L. – knotweed Species: Polygonum pensylvanicum L. – Pennsylvania smartweed Subordinate Taxa. USDA, NRCS. Persicaria (Smartweed Genus) AND. The leaves are covered with dotted glands, which can be clear or colored. Scott, M. (2013). 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. Once cleaned and fully dried, choose a low humidity day—not a rainy day—to jar up your seed. Many of these species have the same general “look” of the pink to white wand-like flower clusters you will come to recognize. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. Found in all of the lower 48 states in damp places and gardens, this annual was introduced from Europe. 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. A mature seed is very dark. Thank you! Reaching six feet in height, this has dotted stems with yellow glands. Knotweed is named for the sheath that encircles the nodes on the stems. Always wash greens; you never know what might be on them…like animal feces or urine. The female flowers can open on separate flower spikes. Bolander’s knotweed features slender, alternate foliage. The honey quality can vary somewhat. Knotweed is named for the sheath that encircles the nodes on the stems. 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. The USDA Plants Database lists 80 species of Polygonum in the United States. The plant is long-flowering and an early flower and a mature flower look almost the same. The tender, young leaves and stems are eaten raw or cooked. Some are branched and grow to less than a foot in height. The amber colored honey is mostly left on the hives for the bees. Sometimes, they’re hairy, especially along the fringed sheaths. Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) Some are suited to wet spots, while others prefer dry, rocky, or gravelly soils. Ladysthumb is native to Europe. The plants are sometimes known as heart’s ease. Identifying to the species level often involves examination of the style of papery sheath at the joint (node) of leaf and stem.
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