Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mystery of the Month - May

Can you guess what these innocent-looking little sprouts are?

By Carole Gernes, Ramsey County Cooperative Weed Management Area (RCCWMA)

Perhaps the author's job title hints to the plant's identity. This is a photo of an invasive plant species called Japanese knotweed.

Japanese knotweed is a perennial plant; it dies back in the fall and comes up each spring. Spring shoots look similar to asparagus, growing quickly to eight or more feet tall. It spreads by shallow rhizomes, which extend 65 feet outward from the bamboo-like stems.  

New sprouts are able to break through concrete, asphalt and break the foundations of buildings! Knotweed is spread by digging and water movement. Thick infestations can trap spring ice along streams, cause flooding and block water access. Successful removal may take several years. Contact RCCWMA for removal advice and cost share information.

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