How good are you at identifying types of plants that grow in the Southern Tier of New York and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? I can name a few but have to admit, there are many I would not be able to tell you what they are, and if they are invasive or not.

Have you ever heard of Japanese Knotweed? Until recently, I had not heard of this plant. According to the New York Invasive Species Information website, Japanese Knotweed is an "upright, shrubby, herbaceous, woody-appearing perennial reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet. The stems are smooth, stout, and hollow."

The Japanese Knotweed plant came into the United States from Korea, China, and Japan. It was used as an ornamental plant in the late part of the 1800s, and the New York Invasive Species Information website mentions that the Japanese Knotweed plant was also used as an erosion control plant.

This plant has leaves that are broad and rounded at the base, and taper toward the end. The Broome County Parks posted on their Facebook page an alert for the Japanese Knotweed as an invasive species.

So why is Japanese Knotweed bad? Essentially, they overtake everything and are hard to get rid of. According to the New York Invasive Species Information website, they have an extremely thick presence both above the ground and under the soil. So them crowding out other plants can mean less of those other plants that animals may eat.

Where do the Japanese Knotweed plants grow? In 42 states in the United States and 8 Canadian Provinces according to the New York Invasive Species Information website. The site features a map where this plant has had confirmed observations in New York State but stresses that areas with no observations reported, doesn't mean that the Japanese Knotweed plant is not present.

For more information, on control and prevention, visit the New York Invasive Species Information website. 

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These seven invasive plants have become a nuisance to the wildlife and people living in New York State. Learn more about them and how to remove them at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation here.

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[via New York Invasive Species Information, Broome County Parks]

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