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Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed

B590/0064

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Japanese knotweed. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) out-shading stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). Japanese knotweed is a tough, highly invasive perennial, that was introduced to this country by the Victorians. It is incredibly hard to kill, as less than one gram of living rhizome, a horizontal underground stem, is needed to regenerate a plant. There are few chemicals that can destroy the plant, and biological control, the use of introduced fungi or insects, is now being considered in the UK. Japanese knotweed grows to two to three metres high every spring, often crowding out native species as it competes with them for light, its root grow at least as deep.

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