Eradicating Invasive Plant Continues to be a Challenge in Communities

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Japanese knotweed, or Reynoutria japonica, is a member of the buckwheat family. It was introduced into the U.S. from Eastern Asia as an ornamental on estates in the late-1800s and its seeds were sold through plant catalogues. The plant, which can grow from three to 15-feet-tall, has bamboo-like stems and it flowers once a year. The plant grows and spreads quickly. Japanese knotweed can tolerate deep shade, high temperatures, high soil salinity and drought. It is commonly found along streams and rivers, Because it is not native, it does not have any natural pests, and it can crowd out plants that are native and attract pollinators.  Municipalities everywhere are struggling with ways to successfully manage its overgrowth.