Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) Is An Invasive Species

1331 WordsMar 22, 20176 Pages
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive species that was introduced to the United States as an oriental plant in the 1800s. It is a nice looking plant that has heart shaped leaves, bamboo like stems and very pretty white flowers. It is native to East Asia in countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. This native has taken over parts of the US and is over crowding native species and pushing them out of their native environments. Biology/ Environmental Knotweed has been called a biological threat; it is a shrub-like, herbaceous perennial that dies back to ground each fall. It can grow to ten feet tall and tends to form dense thickets of the plant that shade out native vegetation. It can usually be found in riparian areas…show more content…
They have a pointed tip and flat base to the leaf. Knotweed also has numerous, small, off-white flowers. They grow in clusters near the end of the plant’s arching stems. They bloom in August and September. They are usually pollinated by insect but most are infertile unless they have been cross bred. The Japanese knotweed stems are round, hollow, and mottled, with a whitish coating. (MDNR.2012) Japanese Knotweed Stem Photo from: Edible Wild Food Japanese Knotweed Leaf Photo from: NH Department of Agriculture Distribution and Ecological Impacts Photo from: The picture above shows the distribution of Japanese Knotweed in North America as you can see it is more prominent on the east coast, but it is also along the west coast. Only 9 states in the United States don’t have knotweed and that is very interesting because of how knotweed spreads. This species is treated as a colonial species because of the way it spreads and reproduces through the roots and stems. Studies done by Forman in 2003 gave results that Japanese Knotweed produces large quantities of seed that typically have high germinability. This seed is good even if it is planted immediately after collection or subjected to various conditions during the winter season and germinated the following spring. This is what makes this species so abundant and durable to most conditions. They also studied knotweed in the wild at several field sites, with

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