Japanese knotweed

Fallopia japonica (Houttuyn) Ronse-Decraene


Japanese knotweed is a dense growing shrub reaching heights of 10 ft. (3 m). The semi-woody stem is hollow with enlarged nodes. Leaves are alternate, 6 in. (15.2 cm) long, 3-4 in. (7.6-10 cm) wide and broadly-ovate. Flowering occurs in late summer, when small, greenish-white flowers develop in long panicles in the axils of the leaves. Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers occur on separate plants). Japanese knotweed commonly invades disturbed areas with high light, such as roadsides and stream banks. Reproduction occurs both vegetatively (rhizomes) and seeds, making this plant extremely hard to eradicate. The dense patches shade and displace other plant life and reduce wildlife habitat. Japanese knotweed resembles giant knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense), but giant knotweed is larger and has heart-shaped leaves. Japanese knotweed is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into North America in the late 1800s.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the EAstern United States - USDA Forest Service
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - SE-EPPC
Pest Alert - USDA Forest Service
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England - University of Connecticut
Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy
Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas - National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service