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Latin Name- Polygonum Pensylvanicum Hardy Zone- 3-8 Mature Height- 1-4ft Sun Or Shade- Full Sun

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Smartweed - Polygonum

Smartweed is the common name for a variety of different plants within the Polygonum species. Identified by their woody stems and little edible leaves, these plants grow well in a variety of temperate climates and have taken root in almost all areas of North America. While most require moist, soft soil to grow well, some types thrive floating in the water. Growing around 4 meters on their own but up 30 if attached to a tree, the smartweed can take root quickly and grows at an alarming rate. During summers, it produces white, pink, or slightly green colored flowers. In landscaping, they can make great bushes when grown in bundles or be cultivated as herbs. Smartweed has light green to red stems that zigzag between the alternate leaves. The leaves are sometimes marked with chevrons that are faintly darkened. The petioles can be up to 1 inch long. This plant has a cone-shaped bloom with many pink to purple flowers growing along the stalk. These plants have no scent. This plant is a robust plant and is relatively easy to grow. This plant can grow almost anywhere that it is left undisturbed.

Smartweed or polygonum hydropiperoides is a common perennial plant that grows in moist soils or shallow water. It can be found in swamps and ponds and is quite common in the United States, especially Florida. It is often found along damp roadsides or in wet ditches. Its name means, "looks like water pepper." Smartweed is a member of the buckwheat family and can grow up to four feet tall with lance-shaped leaves bearing pinkish-green flowers blooming June through November. If growing in partial shade, the blades may bend toward the light but are otherwise straight. Smartweed belongs to a rather large group of plants in the genus Polygonum tribe, which hosts a variety of Smartweeds. The common trait in the group is they all have a pepper-like, acrid taste. The nectar contained in flower attracts many different types of insects including butterflies, moths, and bees. It also provides nourishment and shelter for doves, ducks and other waterfowl. Many herbal supporters believe that Smartweed contains many beneficial nutritional components that are recommended for gastrointestinal problems including bloating and can also be used for respiratory ailments. As an example, Smartweed is known to be used in Peru to fight bacterial infections. There are those individuals who believe that ingesting Smartweed as a tea will stop hemorrhoids from bleeding and to alleviate diarrhea. Others apply the herb directly to the skin to clean bloody cuts. It is also believed to help lower blood pressure. The leaves and stems of Smartweed are considered consumable, either raw or cooked. The leaves contain, fat, protein and carbohydrates as well as rutin. Seeds are often used as spicy condiments on salads, and meats. All in all, Smartweed is considered a valuable herb to add to a person's bag of supplements to help achieve good health and a healthy living style.


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