Bamboo? I was told NO. 20 years we've thought it was Bamboo..

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by OneFastLotus, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. OneFastLotus

    OneFastLotus Member

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    Ok, this stuff was in the backyard when my parents moved in 20 years ago. Then it was ALL OVER the yard, like a scourge. The neighbors said it was Bamboo. The stalks LOOK like BAMBOO.

    Over the years dad dug it up, burned it, bleached it, you name it, and over the course of 20 years my dad has gotten it to a place where he can manage it. ( Edit to say that we know have educated ourselves on the proper management of "running" bamboo but now we're told this isnt bamboo).

    It appears to have "Rhizomes" like bamboo. It shoots in the spring, the shoots come up out the ground in thick pointy arrows, it looks just like bamboo. I wish I had pictures.

    The shoots grow VERY quickly, from May to say, June 1'st it will go from shoot to 15 feet tall. Over the course of the summer it grows to about 15 feet, maybe 20 feet.

    In the late summer it has pink lacy blooms of some sort. Bloom isn't probably even the best descriptor but it's all I think to use to describe it.

    In the winter the stalks turn brown, it all dies back and just looks like thick brown brittle stalks.

    It returns EVERY year like clockwork. There is very little you can do to keep it from coming back. I dug some of it up and threw it on a concrete area and it managed to sprout this spring.

    We visited a bamboo grower in Ohio a few months ago so I took a stalk of this with me to ask what sort of Bamboo it was. He said it WAS NOT Bamboo, but he didn't know what it was.


    So.....for 20 years we have thought we were dealing with BAMBOO. If it's not BAMBOO, what is it?

    I have a picture of the entire stand which is about 14 feet long and 10-15 feet high, to give an idea of it's size and how it looks, however the picture seems to be corrupted and is too large to host.

    So here are some smaller pictures of "interior" shots of the stand. It looks just like Bamboo in as much as the stand is large, tall and thick and looks dense, however if you walk through the lush leaves the " inside" is very open and is a forest of stalks. My parents dogs like to sleep and play inside the cool "forest".
     

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  2. OneFastLotus

    OneFastLotus Member

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    some of the leaves...again I regret not having the picture of the entire stand.
     

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  3. OneFastLotus

    OneFastLotus Member

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    Ha, after perusing this site, I think it's Japanese Knotweed. Lovely. Well I will say this....after 20 years of fighting it stays in one area now, or at least has been for the past 5 years. Apparently you can beat it into submission. ;)
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Keep cutting it back. Every time a new shoot comes up, cut it down. By not allowing it to keep any green foliage, you will prevent it from producing food stores in the rhizome by photosynthesis. You will eventually starve it into submission. May take a number of years though. (In fact, that's what I would do to a rampant bamboo too if I have to get rid of it.)
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There's a country road out here named "Bamboo Lane" (or "Road", whatever). Saw it on a map, went out there hoping to see a large old bamboo grove and found a bunch of knotweed. Likewise, a landscape contractor I used to talk with occasionally, who called themselves a Japanese gardening specialist thought scouring rush was bamboo.
     
  6. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    There are herbicides that will kill off knotweed, and in British Columbia there are government agencies that will fund you to do so. Here it is considered noxious.
     
  7. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    We have it here too. Noxious weed indeed.
     
  8. treeguy123

    treeguy123 Active Member

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    Yep, It's a Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
    The native environment of the plant is on the slopes of volcanoes in Eastern Asia and there are many species of insects and fungi which attack it there; away from these it is unhindered and the better conditions in our gardens must be paradise. Japanese knotweed is one of the first plants to appear on volcano slopes after volcanic activity. It was introduced to the United Kingdom as an ornamental in 1825, and from there to North America in the 19th Century. It is a very fast grower and is hard to get rid of.
     

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