Friday, September 9, 2011

Water Smartweed: A Sea of Pink

Water Smartweed  in a ditch, roadside west of Val Marie © SB 

Close-up of
Marsh Smartweed  
© SB
When we visited southwestern Saskatchewan in late July, the sloughs and ditches had turned rose-pink with Water Smartweed.

These low-looking prairie wildflowers appeared to float on the water, with stems rising to a uniform flowering mass above.

Vance/Jowsey's Wildflowers indicates that there are several varieties of Smartweed, including:

  • Water Smartweed, which fills the sloughs, and 
  • Marsh Smartweed, which tends to have stronger stems and grow taller on drier, slightly marshy terrain. 

Marsh Smartweed flower stalk (with insect) © SB 

Prairie Wildflowers:  Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium L.) and Marsh Smartweed (P. coccineum Muhl.)
Locations: Water Smartweed: Around Val Marie, Saskatchewan; Marsh Smartweed: Condie Nature Refuge, near Regina, Saskatchewan. 
Photo Dates: Water Smartweed: July 28, 2011; Marsh Smartweed: August 28, 2011. 

Mass of Water Smartweed   © SB 

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