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The stems grow up to 10 ft in height, are hollow, and have nodules every so many inches, resembling bamboo.
The flowers are a small, cream or white, produced in erect racemes a3-6 inches long in late summer early autumn.
Other names include fleeceflower, Himalayan fleece vine, monkeyweed, monkey fungus, Hancock’s curse, elephant ears, pea shooters, donkey rhubarb, sally rhubarb, Japanese bamboo, American bamboo, and Mexican bamboo (although it is neither a rhubarb or bamboo).
In chinese medicine it is known as Huzhang which translates to tiger stick.
It is listed as one of the world’s worst invasive species. The root system is large and strong enough to break through concrete sidewalks or foundations. You’ll frequently see it on roadsides, construction sites, or any place the ground has been turned up. It will grow in such a dense colony that it will crowd out any other plant. It is so prolific, any part of the plant can grow new roots, so be very cautious when harvesting this plant to not drop any part of the plant on your way home. I would not recommend putting this in your compost bin. In fact, in the UK, landfills have to be licensed to handle Japanese Knotweed.
Japanese Knotweed Purée
Japanese Knotweed Jelly
makes 6- 8oz. jars
Japanese Knotweed Muffins
makes 8 muffins
Japanese Knotweed Summer Rolls
makes 6-8 rolls