This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by tuber-bearing rootstocks. Time of bloom: April to June. Seed-time: May to July. Range: Nova Scotia to Minnesota, southward to Florida and
Texas. Habitat: Wet meadows, swamps, sides of streams, and ditches.
Although it produces seed in plenty, the worst part of this weed is underground; it springs from a small tuber about the size of a kernel of corn, attached to a slender rootstock on which there are other tubers, all of which will send up new plants during the present or the coming spring. Cows sometimes eat of the plant when first turned out to graze in spring, seeming to relish its pungent, bitter taste, the taint of which is communicated to the milk. (Fig. 140.)
Stem very slender, smooth, six inches to a foot in height. Base leaves about an inch broad, nearly circular or sometimes heart-shaped, smooth, entire, with long, slender petioles; those on the stem broadly lance-shaped, sessile, often entire, others slightly toothed. Flowers in rather large, loose clusters at the top of the stalk, white, and about a half-inch broad. Siliques about an inch long, flattened, very slim, tapering at each end, nearly erect.
Cleanse infested grass lands with better drainage, for if they lack moisture the tubers will die. Plants of brooksides and ditches should be cut with hoe or scythe in the spring, if they are likely to come within reach of grazing milch cattle.