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Giant Knotweed

What is Giant Knotweed?

Giant knotweed (Fallopia Sachalinensis) is a striking and very large plant, forming stands of largely un-branched stems and bearing leaves up to 3 times larger than those of Japanese Knotweed. These are reminiscent of the foliage of the broad-leaved dock, Rumex Obtusifolius. The flowering of both male and female plants starts later than Japanese knotweed, and flowering is less prolific.

This plant is native to the island of Sakhalin to the north of Japan and the remote island of Ullung-do between Japan and Korea.

Why is Giant Knotweed a problem in the UK and Ireland?

Giant knotweed spreads by the extension of the rhizome system and is mainly dispersed by the transport of portions of rhizome to fresh sites, however it has not shown the destructive competitiveness of Japanese Knotweed.

The role of true Giant knotweed seedlings in the spread of the plants in the UK has received little discussion, though it is likely to be insignificant. Substantial genetic diversity in the plants has been noted, though this is likely to have arisen through multiple introductions of the species from various parts of the native range, rather than through home-produced seedlings.

Giant knotweed’s true significance is as the main pollen parent of the hybrid, Fallopia X Bohemica, whose hybrid vigour may render it the greatest threat, so far, of all.

Giant Knotweed and the Law

  • Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

  • Environmental Protection Act (1990)

  • Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014)

Identification

What does Giant Knotweed look like?  View our image gallery to help you identify Giant Knotweed on your land.

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What does Giant Knotweed look like?  View our image gallery to help you identify Giant Knotweed on your land.

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Howard Downer

THE EXPERT DR. KNOTWEED

Howard Downer, AKA Dr. Knotweed, has over 20 years of experience as an Environmental Consultant and is regarded by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable people in the Japanese knotweed industry.

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