Swamp smartweed Polygonum amphibium
Common names: Floating Smartweed, water smartweed
Location: Found in quiet waters of lake and ponds in water depths less than 6 feet.
Description: This "amphibious" plant can grow as an emergent or as a floating-leaf plant. Leaves are elliptical in shape and alternate along the stem; pink flowers occur in a cluster.
Hints to identify: 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.
Importance of plant: Water smartweed provides seeds for waterfowl, game birds, deer and muskrat; leave provide shelter for fish and habitat for invertebrates.
Management strategy: See DNR regulations. It's best to leave these plants alone. They typically do not form dense stands.