A terrestrial or aquatic perennial often forming dense colonies covering large areas. Stems erect, branching, often sprawling as they grow, taking root at the swollen nodes. Flowers in long, erect racemes, rich pink, rarely white, showy. Blooms June-October. Leaves alternate, ovate, sharply pointed, on petioles (leaf stems).
Similar species: There are some 15 other smartweeds (in the genus Persicaria) recorded for our state. If the more traditional taxonomic groupings are used, then there are nearly 30 relatives (smartweeds and knotweeds, in the genus Polygonum) recorded for our state.