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 marsh and lake bottom’s greens and browns.
The brightly colored and, I suppose, fuzzy flowers were sometimes used as bait for trout. I would think it might be a good lure for bluegills and bass when used as a fly. I will have to give it a try sometime. 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.