Persicaria pensylvanica

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Pinkweed, Pennsylvania Smartweed, Bigseed Smartweed
    Synonyms: Persicaria bicornis, Persicaria longistyla, Persicaria mississippiensis, Polygonum bicorne, Polygonum longistylum, Polygonum mexicanum, Polygonum mississippiense, Polygonum pensylvanicum
    Lifespan: Annual
    Zones: N/A
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: June - September
    Status: Native

Persicaria pensylvanica, or Pinkweed, is native to most of the United States, but is absent from the Pacific Northwest and is considered adventive in the southwest. It is an annual that grows in wet areas, like swamps, fens, shorelines, streambanks, ditches and other similar areas. It blooms starting in early summer and continues into fall, with small pink flowers that are not always open. The plants seeds are an important food source for birds and other small mammals.

This plant looks very similar to some other members of the genus, especially the non-native species, however, it can usually be distinguished by its large size, its larger flowers and its tendency to have flowerheads that stand erect and do not nod. Additional feactures to look for are: the lack of bristles on the ochrea, lack of black or brown spot on the leaves, the presence of glands on the stem - all of these can help identify the species, but sometimes the glands are not present, and sometimes the ochrea does have some bristles, and there sometimes is a large spot on the leaves. This can confuse the identification of the species at times. More information and photos will be posted later.

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