Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium)

Plant Family: Smartweed, Polygonaceae

Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium) is an emergent/submergent plant I usually encounter spreading from wetland shores into lakes.  It is hard not to notice while in bloom.  The magenta petals and other flower parts brightly contrast with the greens and browns of the marsh and lake bottom.  The brightly colored and I suppose fuzzy flowers were sometimes used as bait for trout.  Native Americans also used the plant medically to treat blisters on the mouth and colds.  Like many smartweeds, Water Smartweed produces seeds that are a valuable wildlife food.

Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium)

Leaves and flowers of Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium)