Fallopia sachalinensis, Photo: Michael Lahanas
Fallopia sachalinensis (F.Schmidt) RonseDecr.
Fallopia sachalinensis (Giant Knotweed or Sakhalin Knotweed Japanese オオイタドリ ooitadori, Russian Горец сахалинский, Гречиха сахалинская; syn. Polygonum sachalinense F.Schmidt, Reynoutria sachalinensis (F.Schmidt) Nakai) is a species of Fallopia native to northeastern Asia in northern Japan (Hokkaidō, Honshū) and the far east of Russia (Sakhalin and the southern Kurile Islands).
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 2–4 m tall, with strong, extensively spreading rhizomes forming large clonal colonies. The leaves are 15–40 cm long and 10–28 cm broad, nearly heart-shaped, with a somewhat wavy, crenate margin. The flowers are small, produced on short, dense panicles up to 10 cm long in late summer or early autumn; it is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. It is closely related to Fallopia japonica, and can be distinguished from it by its larger size, and in its leaves having a heart-shaped (not straight) base and a crenate margin. It has a chromosome count of 2n=44.
Cultivation and uses
The shoots are tender and edible. It was introduced to Europe and grown in many botanic gardens. It came prominently into notice about 1893, when a drought in western Europe caused a decided shortage in forage for cattle. This plant was little affected, and since its tender shoots and leaves were eaten by stock, the plant was widely grown experimentally as a forage crop. It has proved less useful than was predicted, and its deliberate cultivation has been almost entirely abandoned. It has however, like F. japonica, proved to be an invasive weed in several areas.
It has hybridised with Fallopia japonica in cultivation; the hybrid, Fallopia × bohemica (Chrtek & Chrtková) J.P.Bailey, is frequently found in the British Isles and elsewhere.
1. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Fallopia sachalinensis
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License