Fallopia japonica

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Polygonales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Fallopia
Species: japonica
Scientific Name
Fallopia japonica
(Houttuyn) Ronse-Decraene
Scientific Name Synonym
Reynoutria japonica
Sieb. & Zucc.
Polygonum cuspidatum
Siebold & Zucc.
Common Names

Japanese knotweed, fleeceflower, Japanese bamboo


Overview

Appearance
Fallopia japonica is an upright herbaceous perennial shrub reaching heights of 10 ft. (3 m). The semi-woody stem is hollow with enlarged nodes.
Foliage
Leaves are alternate, 6 in. (15.2 cm) long, 3-4 in. (7.6-10 cm) wide and broadly-ovate. Leaf tips are abruptly acuminate and the bases are truncate.
Flowers
Flowering occurs in late summer, when small, greenish-white flowers develop in long panicles in the axils of the leaves. Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers occur on separate plants).
Fruit
The fruit are papery and winged, containing shiny, black, three angled achenes.
Ecological Threat
Fallopia japonica commonly invades disturbed areas with high light, such as roadsides and stream banks. Reproduction occurs both vegetatively (rhizomes) and seeds, making this plant extremely hard to eradicate. The dense patches shade and displace other plant life and reduce wildlife habitat. This plant is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into North America in the late 1800s.

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