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Water smartweed provides seeds for waterfowl, game birds, deer
and muskrat; leave provide shelter for fish and habitat for
invertebrates. Smartweed provides some erosion control along the
In the Midwest, it's best to leave these plants alone. They
typically do not form dense stands in the Midwest. In the southern
and Western United States, Smartweed can form dense mats covering
Water smartweed has alternately arranged, oblong leaves which
are about four inches in length. The stem is distinctly jointed
with conspicuous membranous stipules that sheath the stem at the
joints. Smartweed flowers in midsummer with dense pink, rose, or
white flowers held erect above the water. The plants may be
emergent in shallow water or completely submersed with only the
flowers visible above the surface. Smartweed commonly grows in
shallow water along shorelines.
Similar in appearance to broad-leaf pondweeds but can be
distinguished by the presence of swollen nodes on the stem and lack
of submersed leaves.
Q. How much should I treat?
A. Spot treat as needed to maintain navigation
channels and swimming areas. Remember this plant is
very beneficial and should not be treated where it is not a
Q. When is the best time to treat?
A. Once water temperatures are around sixty
degrees or warmer.
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