- Latin Name- Polygonum Pensylvanicum Hardy Zone- 3-8 Mature Height- 1-4ft Sun Or Shade- Full Sun
Smartweed - Polygonum pensylvanicum
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 is a member of the buckwheat family and can grow up to four feel tall with lance-shape leaves bearing pinkish green flowers blooming June through November. If growing in partial shade, the leaves may bend toward light but are otherwise straight. Smartweed actually 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 the 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, pastas 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.