Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wild Edibles: Japanese Knotweed

This plant is identified by tall, dark red stalks and dense stands that grow anywhere at all. The knotweed here is growing with ostrich ferns. It is edible but do not eat it! Someone probably tried to eradicate it at some time using noxious chemicals. You should not encourage this invasive plant. Click all links for more details. It is also called Mexican bamboo, New England bamboo and Japanese fleece flower (Polygonum cuspidatum (1846), Fallopia japonica (suggested) or Reynoutria japonica (1777)). Photographed on the Wild Edibles Walk on the North Branch of the Winooski River, Montpelier, Vermont.

from Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Fact Sheet (pdf file):
Control: Choice of methods depends on size of the infestation. A small patch can be controlled by smothering the plants with black plastic topped with materials such as old corrugated tin or layers of cardboard and stones. This works best on places where the materials can be tended for two growing seasons, such as in a yard. In natural areas, small patches can be cut at least three times per growing season, and this should continue until the rhizomes dieback (can take up to five summers). Alternatively the stems can be cut in August when nutrients are being translocated to the rhizomes, and a solution containing 25% glyphosate should be dripped into the cut stem.
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