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Polygonum cuspidatum &. Z. Siebold, ucc.
Fallopia japonica var compacta (Hook f) JP Bailey; Fallopia japonica var japonica (Houtt) Ronse Decr; Polygonum compactum Hook f; Fallopia japonica; Reynoutria japonica Houtt; Reynoutria japonica var compacta (Hook f) Moldenke; Fleeceflower; Reynoutria japonica

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Polygonaceae   Polygonum

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Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 4
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 4
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 4
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 4
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 4
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 3
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 2
Polygonum cuspidatum
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 2
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum, flower
© Kay Yatskievych, 2003 · 1
Polygonum cuspidatum, flower
Polygonum cuspidatum
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 1
Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum, _leaves_and_stem.JP80279_31.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Polygonum cuspidatum, leaves and stem
Polygonum cuspidatum.JP80279_01.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Polygonum cuspidatum

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Andrenidae  Andrena hirticincta @ UCMS_ENT (2)

Andrena placata @ UCMS_ENT (2)
Apidae  Bombus citrinus @ UCMS_ENT (1)

Bombus impatiens @ UCMS_ENT (4)

Melissodes druriella @ UCMS_ENT (1)

Nomada electa @ UCMS_ENT (1)

Xylocopa virginica @ UCMS_ENT (4)
Botryosphaeriaceae  Phyllosticta tokutaroi @ BPI (1)
Coccinellidae  Harmonia axyridis @ I_LB (1)
Colletidae  Colletes compactus @ UCMS_ENT (5)

Colletes simulans @ UCMS_ENT (4)
Halictidae  Lasioglossum coriaceum @ UCMS_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum oceanicum @ UCMS_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum versatum @ UCMS_ENT (2)

Sphecodes mandibularis @ UCMS_ENT (1)
Pucciniaceae  Puccinia antenori @ BPI (1)

Puccinia polygoni-amphibii @ BPI (21)
Rhytismataceae  Leptostroma hortense @ BPI (1)
Tricholomataceae  Helotium herbarum @ BPI (1)
_  Microthyriella rubi @ BPI (1)

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Introduced Species Summary Project
Japanese knotweed ( Polygonum cuspidatum
| Project Home | Taxonomy | Identification | Distribution | Introduction Facts | Establishment | Ecology | Benefits | Threats | Control |

Common Name: Japanese knotweed, Mexican bamboo. In Japan, known as itadori.

Scientific Name: Polygonum cuspidatum (most common name in U.S. and Japan), also known as Reynoutria japonica (most common in U.K. and Europe), a movement exists to standardize name as Fallopia japonica.Japanese knotweed

Classification: Plantae

Phylum or Division:  Phylum Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Polygonales
Family: Polygonacae (knotweeds, buckwheat) "Poly" means many, "gony" from the Greek "knee" means jointed
Subfamily: Polygonum


Identification: Japanese knotweed is an herbaceous perennial that grows very quickly on thick single stems, which appear reddish brown, and includes simple branches when large. Each joint is surrounded by a membranous sheath, making the joint seem swollen. Notable for extreme heighth of branches which arch over and remain, brown, through the winter. Clumps of dark green oval leaves grow 8-10 inches long, 3-6 inches wide, pointed at the tip. Small greenish white flowers appear in the full summer. Seeds are minuscule, reproduces predominately via rhizomes. New growth emerges through the dead brown stems of the previous season, leading to dense thickets.

Original Distribution: Native to Japan, also North China, Taiwan, and Korea.

Current Distribution: Much of mainland Europe, British Isles (except Orkney Islands), at least 36 states in USA including northeastern U.S., California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska (but not Hawaii, and not usually found south of North Carolina), throughout Canada, Newfoundland, also New Zealand.

Site and Date of Introduction: Intentionally introduced to UK from Japan as an ornamental in 1825 (according to Leslie Seiger, Nature Conservancy, Element Stewardship Abstract), from there made it to U.S. by late nineteenth century. The Dutch botanist Houttuyn named the plant Reynoutria japonica in Japan in 1770, and it was not known until the late 1800s that Polygonum cuspidatum is identical (thus the disparity in scientific names).

Mode(s) of Introduction: Spread by cuttings or pieces of rhizomes, often inadvertently as discards from gardens or carried along rivers or stream beds, where it can colonize extremely quickly after floods.  In Europe, only female plants are found, meaning that each example is a clone, making it one of the biggest females in the world in biomass terms (according to the Japanese Knotweed Alliance).

Reason(s) Why it has Become Established: Grows extremely quickly: within 6 days, a viable plant exists from a rhizome as small as .7 grams, especially when rhizome is in water, which is why river/stream banks tend to get overwhelmed. It grows over 6 feet in first couple months of spring, shading out all other species around it. Even when the visible parts of the plant are cut away, the rhizomes sustain it, making it extraordinarily persistent. Can withstand almost all types of soil, light, and drought conditions. Rhizomes will survive to grow plant even if buried 3 feet deep, or under asphalt.

Ecological Role: In Japan, it is one of the first plants to colonize volcanic areas, it's the "dominant pioneer in the primary succession of volcanic slopes and is frequently a colonizer in secondary succession," (The Nature Conservancy, Element Stewardship Abstract by Leslie Seiger, based on Hirose, 1984). Japanese knotweed has an incredible ability to grow anywhere and thrive under adverse soil conditions. In introduced areas, it helps prevent erosion. Since it reproduces primarily asexually, interactions with other species don't play a large role in the the plant's life outside its native habitat, although it is pollinated by bees and can be eaten by grazing animals. It is found predominately in wetlands, along roadways, and in abandoned areas that have been disturbed (according to the Nature Conservancy Element Stewardship Abstract.

Benefit(s): Can be eaten, good source of vitamin C. Has been used as an ornamental plant along pathways and to create hedges. Due to quick growth and rapid reproduction, useful in erosion control. Also considered a medicinal herb, said to promote group consciousness, sensitivity and telepathy.

Threat(s): Reduces biodiversity because forces out native plants through shade and thick ground cover, damages wildlife habitat by reducing plant biodiversity, expensive to treat, aesthetically displeasing, causes damage to sidewalks and pavement.

Control Level Diagnosis High Priorit y. Extremely difficult and time consuming to eradicate once it is established. Hybridization has already occurred on a wide scale, and the potential exists for much greater interbreeding/evolution, making it even more difficult to control. It has been declared a noxious weed in several states. Because the leaves and stems fall thickly and take a long time to decompose, no other plants (except the new Japanese knotweed shoots) can grow in an affected area. Has the real potential to wreck havoc on native ecosystems.

Control Method : Thoroughly digging out roots and stems takes years to succeed, if it ever does -- if even a tiny speck of stem remains, the plant will regenerate. It is vital to burn or otherwise properly dispose of the plant scraps -- it can ruin a compost pile. It takes a minimum of three years to get rid of it, either by cutting away to the stems and treating each stem with an herbicide such as Roundup or by covering the ground with black plastic and heating the soil to the point where the rhizome dies. The shoots can be eaten by grazing animals, but this doesn't eradicate the plant, only control it. Types of biological control agents (BCA) are being studied; it is known that there are many insects and fungi which control the plant's spread in its native range, so prospects are hopeful (according to the Japanese Knotweed Alliance).

References: The Japanese Knotweed Alliance ( www.cabi.org/BIOSCIENCE/japanese_knotweed_alliance.htm#prob );
The Nature Conservancy, Element Stewardship Abstract for Polygonum cuspidatum by Leslie Seiger ( http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/polycus.html ); National Park Service Plant Conservation Alliance/Alien Plant Working Group ( www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pocu1.htm ); Wild Man Steve Brill ( www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Knotweed.html ); Delta Gardens ( www.deltagardens.com/medicinal/japanese_knotweed.htm

Photo: http://www.hebes.mdx.ac.uk/teaching/learning/garden/Medium-Res/Japanese%20Knotweed%20-%20Polygonum%20cuspidatum%2014092001.jpg

Author: Alice Brooke Wilson
Last Edited: February 17, 2003.

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Delaware Wildflowers  •  Scientific names

Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr. ( Polygonum cuspidatum , Reynoutria japonica ) Japanese Knotweed
Polygonaceae — Smartweed family
Invasive non-native
Fallopia japonica
Paper Mill Road
August 2004

More information on this plant, from other sources.

Copyright David G. Smith

Delaware Wildflowers main page

Following modified from MissouriPlants.com
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Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc.

Polygonum cuspidatum plant

Family - Polygonaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Polygonum cuspidatum stem Node of stem.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Polygonum cuspidatum leaves Upper leaves.

Polygonum cuspidatum leaf Lower leaf.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Polygonum cuspidatum inflorescence

Flowers - No info. yet.

Polygonum cuspidatum flowers

Flowering - August - September.

Habitat - Waste ground, fence rows, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Japan.

Other info. - This large, showy species can be found scattered throughout Missouri but is still mostly uncommon. It will most certainly spread with time. The plant is quite large and bushy, growing to +4m tall. It makes a good cultivated specimen but is hard to keep under control. When left undisturbed it spreads rapidly. The sprays of white flowers attract many insects.
P. cuspidatum is considered a noxious weeds in many parts of the U.S.

Photographs taken in Marquette, MI., 9-8-03.


Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Plantae  
 Phylum Magnoliophyta  
 Class Magnoliopsida  
 Order Caryophyllales  
 Family Polygonaceae  
 Genus Polygonum  
  Polygonum cuspidatum    Sieb. & Zucc., 1846 
Provider: Ching-I Peng 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Fallopia japonica Pleuropterus cuspidatus Pleuropterus zuccarinii Polygonum cuspidatum compactum Polygonum zuccarinii Reynoutria japonica   details
Citation: Flora of Taiwan 2nd ed. 2: 299, 1996
Name Code: 203883
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Polygonum+cuspidatum&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Polygonum+cuspidatum&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant
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Updated: 2018-02-24 08:51:41 gmt
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