Bamboo like plant (Jean)

(Question)

My daughter has a plant, very invasive, that resembles bamboo canes but are reddish and the leaves do not look like what you expect them to. They are much broader and form an arrow like appearance at the top of the can. About 6′ tall at this point and are in a shaded area of the yard…we have been told it is poisonous

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about this highly invasive plant. Your description fits that of Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonica. It is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

Rather than being poisonous, Wikipedia suggests it’s only redeeming features are the edibility of the spring growth reputed to taste like extremely sour rhubarb and it’s use in traditional Chinese and traditional Japanese medicine to treat fungal infections, various skin inflammations, and cardiovascular diseases.

Our archive contains many responses to enquiries about removing this plant. The following should be of value to you:. http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/japanese-knotwood-

We wish your daughter every success in this challenging project. That she is identifying and working toward it’s removal in the plant’s early stages will work in her favour.