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Smartweed

 
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Location: Black Mountain, NC USA
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Smartweed. Polygonaceae family. I've read that ducks love the seeds. That would be great because we have so much of this it is not funny. It eats everything! Anyone else know anything useful or just plain interesting about this plant?
 
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Bruce,

Could you post a picture? I get a least 2 distinct looking plants with a Google of the Genus name

If you've heard duck it eat I'd try um out the probably do. My duck and geese LOVE the seeds from a similar looking but distinctly unrelated (and unknown) weed that grows around here. They do seem cognoscente enough to leave a good 1/3 of the seed pods on plants for them to propagate though and thus far they don't seem to be allowing anything to seriously out compete them though. Only a year in. Human timescale and whatnot...

 
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Location: Ossineke, MI
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I was just researching this the other day, we have a great deal of it in our garden as well. It is supposed to be a pepper substitute, but I haven't found occasion to actually nibble on it. It had been known as Pepperwort years ago. It is also considered a 'medical irritant', so maybe be careful consuming... There is a good bit of information here: https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/smartw54.html
 
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I like smartweed as a ground cover and for the mulch it provides when I cut it back. I don't know any downsides.......here, anything that can crowd out bermuda grass can stay. It is pretty easy to pull and get rid of completely if I need to since it is an annual. It does tend to push into other plantings and overtake them if it is just left on its own

It is time to cut it around my raspberries in the picture below, but it kept other grasses away during this rainy summer. you can barely see some green raspberries peeking out at the top.

I found a bit flowering in another spot.
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smartweed flowers
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Bruce Johnston wrote:Anyone else know anything useful or just plain interesting about this plant?



It's good for the bees.

I have a crazy amount of this because the sheep & cows wont eat it. Apparently it smarts when they do so they stay away (hence the name). An older farmer told me she tried some as a kid because she thought it would make her smart & she was shocked at the result.
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