Pink Smartweed

Photo by James Leiker

Common Name: Pink Smartweed

Scientific Name: Persicaria bicornis

Family: Buckwheat

Longevity: Annual

Height: 2 - 4 feet

Bloom Period: July, August, September, and October

 

Description: Stems are smooth with many branches. Dark green leaves are 2-4 inches long, ½-1 inch wide and taper toward the tip. Small, pink flowers are clustered at the tips of the branches.

Comments: Smartweed fruits are produced in great quantity and are an important food for waterfowl and other wildlife. The pungent plant juices can irritate skin and eyes, causing a smarting sensation, which is the derivative for their common name. Another name is “knotweed” because of the swollen joints along the stem. Smartweeds are food for the larva of the bronze copper butterfly. There are 18 related smartweed species in Kansas. Some of them have white flowers. Pink Smartweed grows in moist soil at pond margins, old buffalo wallows and in disturbed soils of wet ditches. It is found statewide.

Photo by Iralee Barnard