What is Japanese knotweed?

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive plant species that was introduced to the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental garden plant. In the UK, it can be found in a wide range of habitats, including river banks, roadsides, railway embankments, and gardens. It is known for its fast growth and its ability to damage foundations, buildings and flood defences. It can also outcompete native plants and alter ecosystems.

In the UK, it is illegal to plant or cause to grow Japanese knotweed in the wild, and it is a criminal offence to allow it to spread. There are several control measures that can be used to manage Japanese knotweed, including digging up the plant, using herbicides or smothering it with a thick layer of soil or mulch.

It’s important to note that it’s difficult to completely eradicate Japanese knotweed and that a long term management plan is necessary. Professional help is highly recommended as DIY attempts can make the problem worse.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) can be identified by several characteristics:

  1. Leaves: The leaves are large, broad and heart-shaped with a pointed tip. They are arranged in a zig-zag pattern on the stem.
  2. Stems: The stems are hollow and bamboo-like, with distinct raised nodes. They are green or red in colour and can reach up to 3 meters in height.
  3. Flowers: The plant produces small, white or cream-colored flowers in late summer that grow in clusters.
  4. Roots: The plant has extensive underground root systems that can reach up to 3 meters deep and can spread up to 7 meters horizontally.
  5. Growth: It grow vigorously and can form dense thickets, outcompeting native vegetation.

It’s important to note that other plants may share similar characteristics to Japanese knotweed, so it’s best to consult a professional for accurate identification.

Call Japanese Knotweed Elimination Ltd or visit our website today for free advice, as we can easily identify Japanese knotweed via photos or through a free, no obligation site visit.