February 17, 2016
Prickly Lettuce
February 17, 2016

Polygonum pensylvanicum, more commonly known as Pennsylvania smartweed, is a plant that can be found in most of the United States. It is well established in both the central area of the country, as well as the eastern half. This weed can be found in moist areas such as irrigated lawns, ditches, and around bodies of water. Pennsylvania smartweed is a variable annual herb that is very hardy. If left unchecked this weed can become widespread and shade out other plants, so proper weed control is needed.

Pennsylvania Smartweed Characteristics

Polygonum pensylvanicum can reach heights of up to 6 feet. It is a broadleaf weed that is both branched and unbranched with a ribbed stem. Leaves that are lance-shaped is a common characteristic of this plant. Five pale pink flowers at the tip of the plant is an easy way to identify it. The seeds of this plant are often eaten and spread by waterfowl, birds and small mammals. This plant has fibrous roots, which help it establish itself in many different types of soil.

Preventing Pennsylvania Smartweed

Keeping this prolific weed out of your garden or lawn can be difficult. Weed control methods such as weed pulling is not recommended because it can further spread the seeds of this plant. Lawn care methods such as mowing and watering can help prevent this weed from taking root, by creating a dense turf bed. A lawn service company may be needed if Pennsylvania smartweed has taken over a large area of your property.