Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonica

A rhizomatous perennial plant which was introduced into Europe in the 18th century as an ornamental plant and also to provide ground cover and fodder.

Reproduction is through vegetative regeneration with fragments of rhizome as small as 0.7g being enough to give rise to a new plant. All plants outside of Japan and Eastern China are female and because they don't need male germination, we have no male plants in Europe. All reproduction is purely through cuttings being transported to new areas.

The rhizome and root system can spread up to 7 metres in length and 3 metres in depth dependent on soil conditions. The plant can survive in water for some time and still be viable when it comes into contact with soil.

Japanese knotweed thrives on disturbance and has been spread by both natural and human activity. In river areas, high water picks up rhizome fragments and juvenile plants and deposits them further down stream to start new infestations. Fly tipping and careless transportation by humans is the largest means by which the plant spreads.

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