Giant Knotweed

Giant Knotweed, Vancouver Island, BC
Giant Knotweed, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Giant knotweed is a tall shrub with bamboo-like stems. It has been planted throughout south and central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands as a garden ornamental but has quickly spread to non-garden areas to form dense thickets in a variety of habitats, including dry roadsides and moist stream banks. Small patches can quickly spread into large areas, leaving little room for native species to grow. It now can be found on most of the BC coast.

These plants can be identified by their tall bamboo-like stem structure that can be up to 4 meters in height, leaves that are flat at the base with a pointed tip, and small white flowers that bloom in late summer.

I am seeing this plant growing up and down the logging roads surrounding the Campbell River area. I would have to surmise that most of these areas of intense growth of the giant knotweed are the result of home gardeners dumping garden and yard waste material that include the knotweed.

This is something that we should all be aware of, and we should not dump debris that has the potential to redistribute invasive garden plants to the wild.

Once these invasive plants get established, they are almost impossible to eradicate.

Please, think about this, invasive plants crowd out native plants and create a hazard that may be toxic to our native animals and birds.

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