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Wildflower Wednesday

This week’s Wildflower Wednesday Flower is Water Smartweed.

Water Smartweed is a native perennial that is found in all but one of the lower 48 states. (It has not been found in Nevada.) It is a member of the buckwheat family and blooms June- Sept.

Water Smart weed is one of the few truly amphibious plants with its ability to grow both in water and on land.

It is an important food source for waterfowl which consume large quantities of the seeds.

According to the U.S. Forest Service “the term smartweed is thought to be a more sanitized version of the original word “arsmart” for the use of the plant in medieval times to relieve itching and swelling of the human posterior.”

Smartweed was thought to stop bleeding. It was an old country remedy for treating internal bleeding related to hemorrhoids and uterine problems and was used topically to wash wounds. It was a common treatment for curing proud flesh in the sores of animals.

Scientists have recently discovered that Water Smartweed growing in old gold mine tailings absorbs gold at higher levels than expected, leading some to believe that it could be used as a bioassay to screen for potential hazardous chemicals in contaminated soils and water or used to clean up polluted sites.

It is believed that carrying Smartweed will bring you money and luck and will offer protection from people pretending to be your friend.


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