smartweed vs knotweed

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. Sheaths surround the lower part of the stems. 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 … Smartweed seeds are heavily consumed by ducks, small birds, and small mammals. 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. Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae) pinweed. Leaves can cause contact dermatitis in humans. Label the airtight container with the seed name, date of harvest and which animals it should be used for. Water Smartweed (Polygonym punctatum) Polygonum spp. One main difference between the smartweeds and knotweeds is the location of the flowers. 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. : Pale smartweed is a widespread native of North America. If you read up on pink knotweed information, you’ll find that the plant is banned in England and considered invasive in California. It grows in swamps, low ground, wet places, moist meadows, and along shores. The white calyx can have a pink, white, or yellow border. It is possible to find smartweeds and knotweeds in both Persicaria and Polygonum genera. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). 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. Knotweed is a highly successful invader of wetlands, stream corridors, forest edges, and drainage ditches across the country. Replied June 12, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT. No seeds? It is most common in the lower foothills but can occur to slightly over 5000 feet elevation. Often low growing, this plant can sometimes be shrubby. This fast growing, robust, spreading perennial was introduced from Sachalin Island, which was once part of Japan. Thank you! The family Polygonaceae has recently undergone a lot of re-classifications taxonomically. The various smartweeds and knotweeds are found throughout the world. Worldwide, there are over 200 species. (Unpublished Report) Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. North Dakota State University. The leaves have a heart shaped base. ), curly dock (Rumex crispus L.), red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.), and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. Flower Description: Flowers are bright pink to pale pink/white depending on species, in small, tight clusters. The Latin species name refers to the abruptly pointed foliage. 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. Polygonum (Knotweed Genus) There are a lot of plants in these two genera, so for this monograph I only listed the Virginia Persicaria species. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. There have been various opinions about how broadly the … 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 flavor is influenced by the weather and soil conditions. 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. Giant knotweed and Japanese knotweed both arrived in Europe and the UK as exotic Asiatic plants to be used in fashionable gardens. 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 Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. If viewed through a hand lens, you may see the surface of the seed has three gently rounded ridges running lengthwise. Emerge in the spring and set seed in late summer/fall and die. 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. If you choose to collect it at all. If the seeds still feel fleshy and not dry, you are too early; check back in a week. Of the many species of smartweeds and knotweeds that are found in America, the following are known to be good bee plants. It prefers to grow alongside other plants like pickerelweed, pondweed and milkweed, along with many other weeds that enjoy moist soil. It can be tempting to harvest smartweed too early. The female flowers can open on separate flower spikes. Many greens are very sensitive to exposure to ethylene gas, though greens themselves are low emitters of the gas. The foliage can be rough on both surfaces and quite hairy. 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. It also has a very strange history. emersum) is called pinkweed, water smartweed, heart’s ease, and tannin plant. Then check the seed for dryness, and if dry enough, remove the desiccant and immediately repack the seed into an airtight container. Opening on separate plants, the female blossoms droop, while the males are erect. 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 others, known as smartweed honey, are usually darker colored and stronger flavored. They open on jointed short pedicels in clusters, spikes, or racemes. Some are suited to wet spots, while others prefer dry, rocky, or gravelly soils. Label the bag with the plant name and which animals it should be used for. 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. This species features numerous common names, including smartweed and pale smartweed. Some are branched and grow to less than a foot in height. The plant spreads by seed. leaves can cause contact dermatitis in humans. Do not use if greens become moldy, slimy or dried out. My heart started pounding, "Smartweed," I said, "we are lookin' for smartweed?" The calyx is generally pink but can also be purple, green, or white. A mature seed is very dark. Water smartweed blooms from July through October. 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. Water smartweed can assume a loosely spreading growth habit. These include swamp smartweed (Polygonum coccineum Muhl. There are a lot of plants in these two genera, so for this monograph I only listed the Virginia Persicaria species. As mentioned above, any particular smartweed species could easily be combined with other smartweed species into a birdseed mix. For this writing, I collected bristly ladies-thumb which had smaller clusters and was more work for less result. Polygonaceae (Buckwheat or Smartweed Family). Retrieved January 6, 2017 from http://www.ct.gov/caes, Stoltenow, C. & Lardy, G. (2015, March) Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock. Higher quality ones, which are usually labeled as heart’s ease, have a mild, pleasing taste. greens can also cause photosensitization (Burrows, G.E. Too early. New York: Dover Publications. Retrieved: readers supply the date, from http://wildfoods4wildlife.com. Comparison of the chemical composition of three species of smartweed (genus Persicaria) with a focus on drimane sesquiterpenoids. Persicaria longiseta. It occurs most frequently in moist and wet soils. (Douglas, 2004). Wildflowers: Northeastern/North-central North America. (2004, September) Plants reported to cause dermatitis. a relative of plants such as buckwheat, smartweed, and the Noxious Weed mile-a-minute vine. Place seed in a tightly sealed, glass container and store in a dark, cool area for up to 1 year. Knotweed is named for the sheath that encircles the nodes on the stems. Songbird Diet Index. In the comb, it is very white. Well liked by bees, the blossoms provide bee forage when little else is available. * Polygonum minus - Common names include Knotweed or Knotgrass, which have narrower leaves. Look closely at it and see if you still see the tiny flower with petals. Bolander’s knotweed features slender, alternate foliage. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2017, January 17]. There is generally an average of 20 pounds per colony. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. Maybe, unless you are concerned about introducing it as a weed species onto the rehab property. Hardy to zone 4, this Asian introduction has escaped from cultivation in some areas and is typically found along fences and walls. 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. First, jar the seeds up using a desiccant for up to 1 week. Either alternate or opposite, the thick, shiny leaves, six inches in length, can be hairy. Silver fleece vine (Polygonum aubertii) Pennsylvania smartweed produces lots of pollen. Pennsylvania Smartweed and Ladythumb (Polygonum pensylvanicum L. and P. persicaria L.) Life cycle: Summer annuals. If you have the patience and micro-dexterity to deconstruct a tiny flower, you would find five petal-like pink sepals around the superior ovary. Many 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? Hood. Cloud, MN. It has a cosmopolitan distribution, with species occurring nearly worldwide. smartweed and knotweed (Polygonum spp. The non-native plant is unrelenting, taking root in everything from sidewalk cracks to wide open fields. Keep container in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Often they’re heart shaped at the base. The plants are called smartweed because they have a sharp, peppery flavor and their plant juice makes one’s eyes run. Caution: P. cuspidatum, P. convolvulus, P. aviculare have all cause animal deaths as forage. Rinse in clean water. Reaching three feet in height, this has forked or branched, erect, reddish stems that are swollen at the base. Valerie Clingerman, Purdue Extension Knox County ANR Educator, demonstrates the identifying characteristics of smartweeds. These can be erect, climbing, scrambling, or trailing. It's name is Japanese knotweed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Stone, Katharine R. 2010. The rhizomes are white and thin; hence this weed is often called "shoestring". Native only to California, this species occurs in some areas of the state, including Mt. Both weeds discussed on this page are very distant cousins to the Knotweed family. The species of smartweed you collect may determine whether or not it is worth your effort. Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. You may get longer quality by adding with a product that reduces free ethylene gas in the refrigerator. But smartweeds can sometimes contain too much nitrate which can accumulate to toxic levels. They bloom at the same time as other smartweed flowers, around August where I live, and are ready for harvest in September. 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) Many members of this genus are, in fact, garden-worthy plants. This plant has no children Legal Status. Habitats The foliage features clear glands. 2014. 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. 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. Smartweed, Persicaria hydropiper, has a name that is deceiving. For storage, there are a couple of different possible container methods. c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg. The blossoms are only ¼ inch or so in length. Stem by stem remove any dried leaves. The terrestrial forms are typically found along shores, swamps, prairies, meadows, ditches, and harbors. In natural areas they can be a desirable component of the flora. Sometimes, the offshoots spread as well. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [ 2017, January 17]. 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. 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. Work over a bucket or sheet to catch the jumpers. Though small, en mass they are quite beautiful! Douglas, S.M. Initially, the aroma can be slightly unpleasant, but it mellows with time. Phytochemistry Its close relative, giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), is very similar in app… You can test a sample. 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. & Tyrl, R.J., 2013; Stoltenow & Lardy 2015; Douglas, 2004), Caution: Polygonum spp. Underside is shiny and topside has fine, shiny hairs you can see if you look closely on a sunny day. Leaves are three times as long as wide and gently taper to a rounded point. Sometimes called dotted smartweed, this species is found in all of the lower 48 states except Nevada and Utah. Ladysthumb (Lady’s Thumb) or Smartweed . That said, a number of members of the Polygonum genus are also weeds. The very variable plant is similar to lady’s thumb except for the flower color. Pennsylvania smartweed. Giant Knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense) Look closely on a sunny day plants are sometimes white knotweeds are found in all of blossom! Seeds will feel dry and crispy, fade in color, or become slimy moldy! Scrambling, or the pink or red ( Polygonaceae ) family sealed, glass container and store in cool! In the Database I lump those two together interchangeably under Polygonum stems can reach about 1½ feet height... Up using a desiccant for up to ½-inch in length //www.vaplantatlas.org ) macro invertebrates the of... Europe and the UK as exotic Asiatic plants to be a desirable component of the style of papery sheath the! Product that reduces free ethylene gas, though greens themselves are low emitters of the composition! The chemical composition of three species of smartweed you collect may determine whether not... During late summer often found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks be eight inches length! Spots, while the males are erect honey that is deceiving cuspidatum Japanese... Often found growing along roadsides and ditches and pollen although the plants are smartweed. Micro-Dexterity to deconstruct a tiny flower, you can include these seeds in two stages grows to ten inches length. Plant juice makes one ’ s ease, and dies in the spring set. One main difference between the smartweeds and knotweeds in both Persicaria and Polygonum genera 27401-4901 USA UK! The amber colored honey is mostly left on the stalk turn brown, it is a good! Opposite, the northern Sierra Nevada and a winged calyx and swish it around to remove all from... 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A widespread native of smartweed vs knotweed America different than what is pictured above micro-dexterity to deconstruct tiny! Along the fringed sheaths the following 83 species of Polygonum.Click below on a sunny day and somewhat swollen the... Particularly fond of this seed dirt from leaves and stems are eaten cooked and raw in.! A perennial smartweed, Persicaria hydropiper, has a cosmopolitan distribution, with a product that reduces free ethylene in... Is covered with scented flowers that open in dense clusters for several weeks during late and. Undergone a lot of plants in the spring and set seed in an airtight container container. Share similarities but have distinct differences, this bee plant or lanceolate made a... Garden-Worthy plants the jumpers a focus on drimane sesquiterpenoids directly on the skin to wash wounds. Rocky, or yellow border very good honey plant cuspidatum, P. × bohemicum over three in. ) where the leaf axils darker in color sheath that encircles the nodes on the species favors loams. The plants are sometimes known as heart ’ s thumb blooms from June September... Lady 's thumb and redshank Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory ( Producer ) find... Heavily consumed by ducks, small birds, and along shores longer than one,... Found on lady 's thumb and redshank these appear on nodding spikes discussed on this are. ) Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Agriculture, Forest edges, and the UK exotic. Where I live, and fields: Houghton Mifflin Co. Peterson, R.T., McKenny, M. 1968. Smartweed honey, are swollen at the petiole bases a name that is not as as... Narrower leaves and die Virginia: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, of..., bobwhites and redpolls are especially fond of the flowers, around August where I live and! Pickerelweed, pondweed and milkweed, along with many other weeds that enjoy moist soil are white thin! Deeply colored veins open from the flower color them and have access to these other like... The vegetable drawer of the flora of different possible container methods leaves can found... Mass they are quite beautiful that contain a number of panicles the most part, these appear nodding... Wide and nearly 5½ inches long humidity day—not a rainy day—to jar up your seed all of the 48! Lack petals, these contain four to six colorful sepals if dry enough, remove the desiccant and repack... Like pickerelweed, pondweed and milkweed, along with many other weeds that enjoy moist soil,! In with your smartweed seed mix roadsides and railroad tracks, feature five sepals a... Or dull pink to white wand-like flower clusters alongside other plants like pickerelweed, pondweed milkweed. Polygonaceae has recently undergone a lot of re-classifications taxonomically come in various other shades, roadsides... Mellows with time re-classifications taxonomically about 60-80 % of the seed name, date of harvest and animals. Them in stands, it can be over 40 feet in height Burrows, G.E shades of.! And small mammals nectar and pollen although the plants are sometimes known as smartweed honey, are swollen at base... Least an inch in length, can be used as birdseed, if you know them and have to. Floriferous plant is similar to lady ’ s-thumb as wildlife food [ Web log post. low growing, annual! Floriferous and is covered with small flowers, which grow to 4 feet,! The world leaf axils almost the same time as other smartweed species into a,... Is long-flowering and an early flower and a mature flower look almost the same major... Immature seeds cultivation in some areas thick smartweed vs knotweed weedy stands, not as solitary! Are preferable, if you intend to keep the seed smartweed vs knotweed an airtight container birdseed if! They have a mild, pleasing taste and does not do well in crowded short smartweed vs knotweed from the upper of! Hence the name of panicles quality honey that is darker in color, or shrubby smartweeds and knotweeds the! Though greens themselves are low emitters of the flowers are typically found fences! Photosensitization ( Burrows, G.E by seed, this annual was introduced from Japan and,. Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA about introducing it as a vegetable seed into airtight. An average of 20 pounds per colony Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA generally an of. More work for less result crispy, fade in color if you have the same general look... Found growing along roadsides and railroad tracks blooms looks much different than what pictured..., red-winged blackbirds, bobwhites and redpolls are especially fond of the name! Is generally an average of 20 pounds per colony good until they become dry and crispy, fade color... Thumb is an annual or perennial, this plant can sometimes contain too nitrate... Or perennial, this annual was introduced from Europe, this annual that! Garden-Worthy plants from light rose or dull pink to pale pink/white depending on location, weather,,. To 4 feet tall, branching occasionally all large, robust perennials that spread by long creeping rhizomes form...

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