Suspicions and reservations are high whenever we mention, pick or consume Japanese knotweed.
Around 1850 a specimen from this plant was added to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Back then gardeners favoured it because it looked like bamboo and grew everywhere. However it’s the rhyzomatic root system and its strong growth that can damage concrete foundations, roads and whole buildings and which earned Japanese Knotweed the label “invasive plant”. It is mainly spread by moving untested soil from and to construction sites.
Yes, there is a severe prison sentence for spreading the plant.
Yes, it is almost impossible to get a mortgage for a house if Japanese knotweed grows in the garden.
No, it’s not toxic (unless treated by glyphosate) and is perfectly edible and usable in drinks, with a flavour similar to rhubarb.
We cut our Japanese Knotweed from March onwards in Eastbrookend Country Park, and together with the Park Rangers in charge we have carefully identified the spot where.