Pretty plants can have ugly impacts. This is especially true with knotweed, a fast spreading and potentially destructive plant with bamboo-like stems, the plant can cause structural damage by pushing through concrete, asphalt and drainage systems. It also displaces other plant life, causes erosion and pollutes streams with sediment from the eroded land.
Native to Asia, there are four knotweed varieties in the province: Himalayan, Japanese, Giant and Bohemian. All grow in the Fraser Valley but Japanese and Bohemian knotweed are the most common here. While all of them spread quickly, Bohemian knotweed, which is a hybrid between Japanese and Giant, reproduces the fastest.
The following characteristics to help you recognize knotweed:- densely clustered across a broad area
- bamboo-like stems that are reddish or purply-brown
- heart or triangular-shaped leaves of varying size
- small greenish-white or pinkish-white owers
- height between 1.5 and 6 metres.
Eliminating knotweed can be a difficult and costly task. Although cutting it down will remove it temporarily, the
debris can take root and the plant can start growing again, often more aggressively than before. Rather than
mowing it down, it is recommended that knotweed be treated with an herbicide. Even then, it may take several years
of treatment to fully eradicate a large area of knotweed.
Given the risks and removal challenges associated with knotweed, if you suspects that it is growing on a property consult with someone who specializes in weed management.