Fallopia japonica

Common Names: Japanese knotweed, Asian knotweed
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Smartweed family

Considered to be an invasive species, this plant can easily overwhelm an area. It is a large, herbaceous perennial plant. Hollow stems with distinct raised nodes that give it the appearance of bamboo, though it is not closely related. While stems may reach a maximum height of 3 to 4 m each growing season, it is typical to see much smaller plants in places where they sprout through cracks in the pavement or are repeatedly cut down. The leaves are broad oval with a truncated base, 7 to 14 cm long and 5 to 12 cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are small, cream or white, produced in erect racemes 6 to 15 cm long.

Found in waste areas, roadsides, along the edges of forests, lakes, and ponds. Often found in residential areas. Blooms in late summer and early autumn.

Edible Notes: The young stems are edible as a spring vegetable, with a flavor similar to mild rhubarb. Some caution should be exercised when consuming this plant because it contains oxalic acid, which may aggravate conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity. Do not consume from waste areas or roadsides which may be contaminated. Because it's an invasive species, there is an elevated risk of herbicides.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings