Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade
Danger: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Bloom Color: Pale Pink Pink Rose/Mauve
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Foliage: Smooth-Textured Shiny/Glossy-Textured
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Soil pH requirements: 4.5 or below (very acidic) 4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic) 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline) 7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
On Jul 9, 2011, KyWoods from Melbourne, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I thought these were pretty when they showed up in one area, so I let them stay. Big mistake--now I am pulling them up everywhere! If you want these in a small area, make sure you pluck off the flowers before they go to seed!
On Feb 28, 2009, NatureLover1950 from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
I like to find this weed when it's flowering in local fields. When the flowers are at the pink stage I clip a big bunch to use in dried flower arrangements. They not only dry well but hold their color very well.
On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
This native annual plant is 1-4' tall, branching occasionally. It is more or less erect, often bending toward the light in partially shaded locations.
The flowers attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, small butterflies, skippers, and moths. Almost all of these insects seek nectar. The caterpillars of several moths feed on the foliage of this smartweed and others, including Lithacodia synochitis (Black-Dotted Lithacodia), Lithacodia carneola (Pink-Barred Lithacodia), Haematopsis grataria (Chickweed Geometer; often flies during the day), and Dipteryia rosmani (Noctuid Moth sp.). The caterpillars of the butterflies Lycaena helloides (Purplish Copper) and Strymon melinus (Gray Hairstreak; eats flowers & buds) are occasionally observed on smartweeds as well. The rather large seeds are very popular with various bird species, including waterfowl, upland gamebirds, and songbirds (see Bird Table). Many of the wetland birds have not been listed in the table. It is possible that the seeds are only partially digestible, and thus some of them may be distributed by these birds. Because the leaves are somewhat bitter and peppery, this plant is not a favored food source for mammalian herbivores.
On Jan 2, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:
An invasive weed that has the ability to reproduce itself from even the tiniest bit of stem. It grows in cultivated fields, gardens and damp meadows. Vast amounts of seeds are produced that have the capability of remaining dormant for quite some time.
The seeds are attractive to birds and wildlife, but so many of these plants are produced each year, there is no need to propogate it on purpose.
The sticky sap can cause irritation if it comes in contact with the skin, thus, the name Smartweed.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Prescott Valley, Arizona Deer, Arkansas New Milford, Connecticut Demorest, Georgia Leavenworth, Kansas Benton, Kentucky Melbourne, Kentucky Brookeville, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Vicksburg, Mississippi Ogdensburg, New York Antioch, Ohio San Antonio, Texas