Smartweed

Polygonum coccineum

Polygonaceae - Knotweed Family

Smartweed is a native aquatic plant of North America, and can be found throughout the continent in suitable habitats. It grows in moist soil or shallow water and can reach a height of 3 feet. The leaves are alternating, 4 inches long, and lance shaped.1 The stem of Smartweed has no branches, but becomes thicker at nodes where the stem meets the leaf. The Smartweed blooms pointed flowers that are linear in form and very slender. The flowers of Smartweed can be pink, white, or red, giving nice color to an aquatic environment. The flowers bloom from July to September.2

Smartweed is an essential part in any lake or pond’s biodiversity. This is so because, in its aquatic form, it provides shelter for small organisms that live in the water. These organisms then provide food for larger prey like fish and amphibians, which contribute to the health of the system.1

Smartweed seeds are an excellent source of food for many species of waterfowl and songbirds. These species include ducks, geese, bobwhites, mourning doves, ring necked pheasants, species of rails, and 30 non-game species.4 When in large dense quantities, the smartweed can serve also as cover for young waterfowl, marsh birds, and wintering pheasants. The seeds are also a favorite snack of certain mammals.3

References and Useful Websites:
1Auquaplant - Texas A&M University
2Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide - Ohio State University
3Garden Guides


This page was prepared by Robert George, BIO 102, Fall 2011

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now