Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

  1. This is one of my weeds that I didn’t know was a weed until I let it grow all summer the first year we lived here. Now it is the foundation of my compost pile every spring.

  2. This plant is EVIL & impossible to get rid of once it’s taken root. I’ve been fighting it all spring and summer & can’t tell you how happy I am to see it dying in the cold, cold weather. Only problem is I know I’ll be battling it again next year. If you have any suggestions for how to get rid of it, I’d be HUGELY appreciative.

    NOTE to the Composter: Don’t put it in your compost!!! You are just spreading it to the rest of your garden. Even a teeny cutting is enough to get it started in a new spot and it’s muscle out all the good stuff you want to grow.

    {ok… I’ll take a deep, cleansing breath now}

  3. Here in Japan, people put down heavy plastic sheets or even old tatami (straw floor) mats to prevent it from coming through. It has to be a strong sheet though because it will break through anything less. I suppose a few two-by-fours would work as well.

    As for eating it. It is delicious. Especially since rhubarb is hard to come by in Japan, itadori (Japanese Knotweed) is a great substitute for rhubarb sauce or jam. The neighbors all think I am crazy when I come back from the mountain with a basketfull, but the older ones reminisce about when they were children they used to eat it with salt as a snack.

    Of course, to eat it, you generally have to get it early in the season when it is not so fibrous.

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