A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 79 – Japanese Knotweed

BleedingKnotweed

“Bleeding Knotweed” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Knotweed and food coloring after a summer thunderstorm… Part of a series I shot last year…

A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Fallopia japonica… Better known as “Japanese Knotweed”… Is one of my mortal enemies… I have spent more time than I would like to admit painstakingly removing this plant from both occupied and abandoned land… I have spent an equally embarrassing amount of time experimenting with everything from salt injections to M80s… Unsuccessfully…

Other English names for Japanese knotweed include fleeceflower, Himalayan fleece vine, monkeyweed, monkey fungus, Hancock’s curse, elephant ears, pea shooters, donkey rhubarb (although it is not a rhubarb), sally rhubarb, Japanese bamboo, American bamboo, and Mexican bamboo (though it is not a bamboo). – Copy and Paste from Wikipedia…

Knotweed is a seriously scary plant… It grows fast… It spreads by seed… And I mean it spreads… Here in Pittsburgh I see it everywhere… One of the most alarming places I find it is next to waterways… Specifically the three rivers here in Pittsburgh… The issue is the seeds float and are carried all over the place… There are now places along the rivers that although they were accessible a few years ago… Have now become so overgrown with Knotweed that they are completely inaccessible…

I should mention Knotweed is edible… The young shoots are relatively tender and resemble Asparagus… It can be eaten raw or cooked…

KnotweedPrimary

“Knotweed in Primary” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – I have spent so much time removing Knotweed that it felt abnormal to work with it in a positive way… I think that is what struck me as interesting from this series… Instead of destroying the Knotweed… I was decorating it… I was starting to like it…

As far as removal is concerned I have yet to find what I would consider a trick or secret… It has to be dug up… Likewise… The roots send out runners that will grow new plants… These also have to be removed… The above ground part of the plant is waxy and because of this it does not absorb herbicides…

The only way around this is to damage the plant in some way… I often recommend cutting Knotweed down to 12″ stalks and applying an organic herbicide… Or chemical herbicide… I have to admit that while I am largely against the use of chemicals in the garden… I understand the use of them in a few select scenarios… Knotweed happens to be one of those scenarios… I swear it could be on the list of organisms that can survive nuclear fallout… You know… Right up there with Cockroaches, Rats, and Twinkies…

KnotweedTieDye

“Reptile” – Early Summer 2013 – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – This year I intend to film this process… The waxy leaves don’t allow the dye to absorb… Instead it flows along the veins like little rivers… I was just as entranced by the process as I was with the results…

These photographs were part of a series I did last Summer – Art After A Storm – I am particularly proud of that series… A rare stroke of genius from yours truly… I can’t wait to play with the idea some more this year…

My #plantaday posts have brought me a surprising amount of joy… I can hardly believe I am coming up on the final ten… It went surprisingly fast… Anyway… I think I am going to try to make this a thing next winter… I may even try to get other people to get involved… The database of plants we could create… I just think it could be incredible…

As a side note… I went looking for Skunk Cabbage blooms yesterday without any success… I also went looking for Snowdrops… Also without any success… If we can get a few warm days I will be able to finish out this series as intended… Fingers crossed…

Now off to play with my new camera… As always…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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5 thoughts on “A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 79 – Japanese Knotweed

  1. wildsherkin says:

    Thank for your very informative posts. This is a particularly nasty plant. I smiled to see that you have been trying your own ways of undermining it. I bet you could retire in style if you discovered something that worked! The thought of eating it gives me the heebie jeebies. 🙂

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  2. Cathy says:

    This series has been a joy to read too Chris, and I think getting others involved next year is a great idea as everyone would have different plants to highlight.

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  3. Japanese Knotweed has been discovered on at my allotment – fortunately not on my plot (yet).

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  4. It looks like it’s bleeding…

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  5. Jnana Hodson says:

    You had to remind us there are noxious weeds awaiting as well. It’s enough to have me welcoming another round of snow, except that I’ll have to “weed” that, too, from the walks and driveway.

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