Alison Jane Harley

- botanical and floral artist -

Knot so good ….

Saturday 24th October 2020

What could be lovelier than a relaxing walk along the banks of the river Seine in autumn? Surrounded by red and golden leaves above us on the trees and fresh and crispy at our feet, the autumn landscape was at its best. Just ahead I sighed at the exquisite arch of glowing golden leaves and reached for my camera to capture the moment. Cue the Jaws theme music …..imagine our horror when this glorious canopy turned out to be a rampant host of Reynoutria japonica. Yes, horror of horrors Japanese Knot-weed. I feel guilty for even suggesting it was a beautiful sight because I know it strikes fear into the hearts of all garden lovers – myself included. But coming across it like that, unaware and seeing it with unknowing eyes – it was beautiful. I understand why someone thought they had discovered something so architecturally majestic that they just had to introduce it to Europe. Big mistake – but who could have known ….

A place for everything…and everything in its place! The good news is that Japanese Knotweed is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It also provides potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. It’s a source of resveratrol, the same substance in the skin of grapes and in red wine that reduces bad cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart attacks. (ref: “Quality assessment of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) grown on Prince Edward Island as a source of resveratrol”Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

One suggestion to keep it under control – you can eat it! … not that I have. Apparently it tastes like sour rhubarb.

Fallopia japonica (japanese knotweed)

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