Another story of a good plant gone bad. Japanese knotweed is a native of Japan,
China, and Korea. Introduced to Europe and North America as an ornamental plant, it has been so successful that
it is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species. Fast-growing root systems form
dense hedges that crowd out other species.
Identification: Japanese knotweed stems are jointed and hollow
like bamboo. Thin branches are reddish. Plants reach up to 12' (3.7 m). Flowers appear in multiple upward pointing spikes containing
many tiny white to pale yellow flowers. Leaves are oval, wider near the base, 2-6" (5-15 cm) long and 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) wide.
Seed pods are shaped like inverted hearts, about ⅛" (3.2 mm) long. The plants favor wet areas and disturbed areas.
7/27/2016 · Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, Pennsylvania ≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 37 cm)
Leaves are oval, wider and flat near the base, 2-6" (5-15 cm) long and 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) wide.
Triangular, with three “wings.”
Seed pods are shaped like inverted hearts, about ⅛" (3.2 mm) long.
USDA Zones: 5-8
Rivers, swamps, and other wetland regions.
Wet areas and disturbed areas
Medical: Historically, extracts from Japanese knotweed have
been used to treat menstrual cramps and postpartum depression. Other ingredients aid in treatment
of burns; these are also used in skin lotions. There are many other purported but unconfirmed health
Edibility: Thicker young shoots, gathered early in the spring,
can be cooked in boiling water or a steamer and served with butter, like asparagus. And like asparagus,
they cook quickly, and should be served as soon as they are easily pricked with a fork. See herbalpedia.