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Posted: August 12, 2017

Weed warriors unite – stop the spread of Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is the most destructive weed to have in your backyard and it is becoming a high concern in the East Kootenay.

As the name suggests, this plant is native to Eastern Asia and is easily identified by its magnificent broad leaves and hollow bamboo like stems. Because of the similarities, Knotweed is commonly mistaken as an ornamental Bamboo. With the ability to grow over four meters in a single growing season, it is often sold by East Kootenay garden centres as an “easy to grow” privacy block or fence.

An easy to grow plant is popular with novice gardeners because it can establish itself with no care or maintenance. The rapid growth and aggressive qualities of this plant will not remain within a desired fence line; Knotweed has the ability to break through concrete walls and foundations. Disturbance of the root system will cause it to spread with vigor in search for a more appealing growing environment. Japanese Knotweed is so destructive that lenders in Great Britain are refusing mortgages for properties with a known infestation.

Japanese Knotweed and other Knotweed species can start a new infestation through discarded plant parts. If a piece of knotweed is discarded or falls off, that bit of plant material can form new plants and start a new infestation. This is known to be happening in Fernie and Kimberley; friendly neighbours are sharing this plant unaware of the negative impacts. People are also illegally dumping unwanted plant material on backroads spreading this intrusive species into our treasured East Kootenay backcountry.

Now that you are aware of this species of concern, you are part of the solution! Join our community of Weed Warriors and help conserve this beautiful region that we call home. Follow us on Facebook and signup for our e-newsletter at to see what fun outdoor initiatives we are involved in. No experience or previous knowledge necessary. Must be willing to learn, enjoy nature and inspire positive behavioral change in your community. Help us ensure that our unique and beautiful region can be enjoyed for many years to come.

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Submitted by EKISC – Education and Outreach Team

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