Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Knotweed Family (Polygonaceae). Pennsylvania smartweed is an annual herb that has small, five-parted pink or rose colored flowers on a short spike. It grows 2 to 4(6) feet high. The flowering branches have stalked glands. The stems have a reddish color and swollen nodes. The alternate leaves have sheaths extending around the stems. The seeds are black, shiny, flattened, and almost round. There are approximately 62,000 seeds per pound.

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., Que.; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; South America (Ecuador); Europe (England, Spain).
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Distribution and adaptation

Pennsylvania smartweed is adapted to soils of all drainage classes except droughty soils. It commonly occurs on mudflats of fresh water to moderately brackish areas throughout the Northeast.

Pennsylvania smartweed is distributed throughout the entire Unites States, excluding a few northwestern states. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants annual, 1-20 dm; roots also occasionally arising from basal nodes; rhizomes and stolons absent. Stems ascending to erect, simple or branched, ribbed, glabrous or appressed-pubescent distally, eglandular or stipitate-glandular distally. Leaves: ocrea brownish, cylindric, 5-20 mm, chartaceous, base inflated, margins truncate, eciliate or ciliate with bristles to 0.5 mm, surface glabrous or appressed-pubescent, eglandular; petiole 0.1-2(-3) cm, glabrous or appressed-pubescent; blade sometimes with dark triangular or lunate blotch adaxially, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, 4-17(-23) × (0.5-)1-4.8 cm, base tapered to cuneate, margins antrorsely scabrous, apex acuminate, faces glabrous or appressed-pubescent, eglandular or glandular-punctate abaxially and occasionally adaxially. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, erect or rarely nodding, uninterrupted, 5-50 × 5-15 mm; peduncle 10-55(-70) mm, glabrous or pubescent, usually stipitate-glandular; ocreolae overlapping, margins eciliate or ciliate with bristles to 0.5 mm. Pedicels ascending, 1.5-4.5 mm. Flowers 2-14 per ocreate fascicle, homostylous; perianth greenish white to roseate, glabrous, not glandular-punctate, accrescent; tepals 5, connate ca. 1/ 1/ 3 their length, obovate to elliptic, 2.5-5 mm, veins prominent, not anchor-shaped, margins entire, apex obtuse to rounded; stamens 6-8, included; anthers yellow, pink, or red, elliptic; styles 2(-3), connate at bases. Achenes included or apex exserted, brown to black, discoid or, rarely, 3-gonous, without central hump on 1 side, 2.1-3.4 × 1.8-3 mm, shiny, smooth. 2n = 88.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Polygonum pensylvanicum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 362. 1753; Persicaria mississippiensis (Stanford) Small; P. pensylvanica var. dura (Stanford) C. F. Reed; Polygonum omissum Greene; P. pensylvanicum var. durum Stanford; P. pensylvanicum var. eglandulosum Myers; P. pensylvanicum var. laevigatum Fernald; P. pensylvanicum var. nesophilum Fernald; P. pensylvanicum var. rosiflorum Norton
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Type Information

Isotype for Polygonum mississippiense Stanford
Catalog Number: US 383581
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of original publication
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. M. Tracy & F. E. Lloyd
Year Collected: 1900
Locality: Long Beach., Harrison, Mississippi, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Stanford, E. E. 1925. Rhodora. 27: 178;183.
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Isotype for Polygonum mississippiense var. interius Stanford
Catalog Number: US 313713
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. A. Blankinship
Year Collected: 1896
Locality: Huntsville., Kingfisher, Oklahoma, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Stanford, E. E. 1925. Rhodora. 27: 184.
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Ecology

Habitat

Moist, disturbed places, ditches, riverbanks, cultivated fields, shorelines of ponds and reservoirs; 0-1800m.
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Dispersal

Establishment

A seedbed that reduces most weed competition and permits smartweed to be covered by one inch of soil depth is usually sufficient. Drop water quickly and broadcast seed on top of wet ground in mudflats or drawdown areas. Seed after the last killing frost in the spring. Smartweed may be seeded later so that seed maturity coincides with the arrival of migratory birds. Seeds are generally broadcast at a rate of 10-15 pounds per acre.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering May-Dec.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Polygonum pensylvanicum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Persicaria pensylvanica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

No varieties exist, but common seed may be obtained through wildlife and game food seed dealers.

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As an upland wildlife food source, plant either in pure stands or in mixtures with other suitable and adapted species. For waterfowl food, draw down water where necessary shortly before planting. Do not re-flood until plants are at least 6 inches in height. Flood the area to a depth of 12-18 inches during the migratory season. Re-plant annually to assure a uniform stand. A light harrowing is recommended to encourage natural re-establishment of stands.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

This plant is an excellent wildlife food plant, especially for waterfowl. Twenty species of ducks, geese, bobwhites, mourning doves, ring-necked pheasants, and four species of rails, as well as 30 nongame birds, eat the seeds. Dense stands provide cover for young waterfowl, marsh birds, and wintering pheasants. Plants and/or seeds are eaten by white-footed mice, muskrat, raccoons, and fox squirrels.

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Wikipedia

Polygonum pensylvanicum

Polygonum pensylvanicum (syn. Persicaria pensylvanica) is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae. It is native to parts of North America, where it is widespread in Canada and the United States.[2] It has also been noted as an introduced species in parts of Europe and South America.[3] Common names include Pennsylvania smartweed and pinkweed.[2]

Description[edit]

Pennsylvania smartweed is a variable annual herb reaching 10 centimeters to 2 meters tall. The upright, ribbed stems are branching or unbranched. The lance-shaped leaves reach up to about 2 centimeters in length. The blade may be marked with a dark blotch. The brownish ochrea at the base is up to 2 centimeters. The inflorescences grow at the top of the stem and from the leaf axils. The flowers have 5 pinkish or greenish tepals each a few millimeters long.[3]

This plant grows in moist, disturbed habitat types, such as ponds, reservoirs, riverbanks, irrigated fields, and ditches.[3]

Ecology[edit]

This plant is an important part of the habitat for waterfowl and other birds, which use it for food and cover. At least 50 species of birds have been observed feeding on the seeds, including ducks, geese, rails, bobwhites, mourning dove, and ring-necked pheasant. The seeds and other parts are eaten by mammals such as the white-footed mouse, muskrat, raccoon, and fox squirrel.[4]

Uses[edit]

Native American groups had various uses for the plant. The Chippewa used it as a treatment for epilepsy. The Iroquois used it to treat horse colic. The Menominee took a leaf infusion for postpartum healing. The Meskwaki used it on bleeding hemorrhoids.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Persicaria pensylvanica. ITIS.
  2. ^ a b Persicaria pensylvanica. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  3. ^ a b c Persicaria pensylvanica. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ Polygonum pensylvanicum L. Plant Fact Sheet. USDA NRCS.
  5. ^ Polygonum pensylvanicum Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.
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Notes

Comments

Persicaria pensylvanica is a morphologically variable allotetraploid, with P. lapathifolia probably one of the parents (L. L. Consaul et al. 1991). Three or four varieties (under Polygonum) often have been accepted in North American floras; the characters on which these are based vary greatly within and among populations. J. W. Taylor-Lehman (1987) concluded that Polygonum pensylvanicum is best treated as a polymorphic species without infraspecific taxa, based on specimens primarily from Ohio. The heterostylous Persicaria bicornis often is included in P. pensylvanica. A single chromosome count of 2n = 22 reported by Á. Löve and D. Löve (1982), which could not be confirmed by Consaul et al. because the voucher could not be found, is excluded. Flowers with three styles and trigonous achenes are produced; they are exceedingly rare and probably mostly overlooked. Several Native American tribes prepared infusions and decoctions from P. pensylvanica, which they used as drugs for humans and horses (D. E. Moerman 1998).
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Varieties not recognized within the species Polygonum pensylvanicum by Kartesz (1999).

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