Friday, August 10, 2012

Water or Marsh Smartweed: Stalks of pink stars

Smartweed, along a Saskatchewan slough. © SB 
Today at the edge of a slough (marsh, bog, swamp, wetland), I saw Saskatchewan wildflowers that looked like stalks of pink stars: Water — or perhaps Marsh — Smartweed.

This native prairie plant turns ditches and sloughs rose pink some years in July. Smartweed is also (Vance/Jowsey) a common food for ducks.

The seeds of Marsh Smartweed are edible — nutty flavoured, according to Plants of Alberta, whose authors Royer/Dickinson say that Smartweed seeds have been found in several Native archaeological digs, leading to suggestions that the plant was cultivated for its food value.

While I took this picture, Black Terns screeched and dived, mouths full of prairie dragonflies.

Prairie Wildflower: Smartweed  Water or Marsh (Polygonum amphibium, and other names)
Location: Along the edge of a slough, north of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo Date: August 10, 2012.  


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