Lady's Thumb

Scientific Name(s): Polygonum persicaria
Abundance: common
What: leaves
How: cooked
Where: moist, sunny areas
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: assorted vitamins & minerals
Dangers: none known

Lady's thumb. The dark "V" stain is supposed to look like the thumbprint of a lady.

Lady's Thumb (note the dark smudge on the leaf between the 3" and 4" section of the ruler)

"Smudge-free" lady's thumb.

A stand of lady's thumb blooming along Spring Creek.
Smartweed Ladys Thumb Flowers

Close-up of flowers.
Smartweed Ladys Thumb

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

This "weed" prefers moist, sunny locations on the banks of streams and lakes but it can occasionally be found in much drier locations. It will usually be in clumps and standing approximately 18"-24" tall. In early summer the pink flowers will appear in small, round clusters at the tops of the stems. From a distance these flowers will make the whole clump of plants look pink.

A delicious potherb, simply boil the leaves for 8-10 minutes then serve with butter or roasted garlic or bits of bacon or all of those combined. It is better to cook it than to eat it raw because bacteria from the water this plant grows along can contaminate the leaves.

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