How Long Does It Take A Weed Plant To Flower Pros and Cons of the Japanese Knotweed

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Pros and Cons of the Japanese Knotweed

There are many names by which the Japanese knotweed is known; Reynoutria japonica, Fallopia japonica and Polygonum cuspidatum are the scientific names for Japanese castle. Reynoutria japonica is the oldest name given in 1777 by Houttuyn, a famous Dutch botanist.

This name was lost over 10 decades with the weed named Polygonum cuspidatum by Siebold and Zuchharini in 1845. Today, its main scientific name is Fallopia japonica.

International reputation

Japanese knotweed is known internationally by local names such as American bamboo, Mexican bamboo, fleece flower, donkey or sally rhubarb, pea shooters, monkey weed, elephant ears, Hancock’s curse, scarlet beauty, Huzhang and wild rhubarb.

This weed species belongs to the Polygonaceae family, which includes rhubarb, sorrel and buckwheat. This large herbaceous weed is native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. It was first introduced to the USA and Europe in the 19th century.

Use it

Japanese knotweed is very versatile in use. It was originally intended for feeding farm animals, preventing soil erosion and as an ornamental plant with its small white and cream flowers. Its root extract was in high demand in Chinese medicine.

Its young shoots can be eaten as a vegetable, and the stem bark can be used in jams, soups and sauces. It can be turned into a dessert dish with a little creative culinary skills and spices.

A bad one

However, this weed plant is considered one of the most invasive weed species on all continents; therefore, efforts are being made to stop it through various eradication treatments. The UK has legislation against the spread of this type of weed in its Wildlife and Nature Act 1981.

Australia and New Zealand have also encountered great difficulty in controlling the widespread growth of this weed. It can damage almost any surface, be it a wall or the ground. Building foundations can crack and become unstable with the presence of Japanese knotweed.

A small shoot of this weed can poke through any tiny crack and cause massive damage. So, sidewalks, drains, roads, buildings, flood defenses, historic buildings, archaeological sites, and even cemeteries can be damaged by Japanese knotweed.

The rapid growth of this weed plant can occupy river banks and prevent access to rivers. Native plants are crowded out by Japanese knotweed and soon die out. The value of land drops sharply with the presence of braid. Eradication of this weed plant is difficult, expensive and not guaranteed.

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