Thursday, August 23, 2012

Japanese Knotweed Honey Flow

Sometimes what you are seeking is right under your nose all along. Maybe for years. Here in my area of the Pacific Northwest we have 3 major honey flows. Maple, blackberry and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum ). I am familiar with what maple trees and blackberry bushes look like but I had never heard of a Japanese knotweed. I used my Google-fu and found pictures that showed a plant with broad oval leaves and sprays of little white blossoms. The flowers reminded me a bit of the blooms on my sourwood tree. For reference here is a photo of my sourwood tree, taken today. Notice the leaves are already starting to turn? It reminds me that fall is just around the corner.

I knew that the knotweed flow was imminent so have been watching vacant lots for signs of something blooming. Today, as we were driving Reggie to the groomers I suddenly blurted out, "That's it. That's it!" "What are you talking about?" my husband asked. I think I startled him. I explained I had been hunting for knotweed and I believed this was it. I began to see it everywhere. There seemed to be 2 varieties. One that was less attractive and seemed to be just about finished blooming and another that was more pleasing to look at and was in full bloom now. I had him pull over so I could break off a piece for closer inspection. He pulled up next to one of the less beautiful bushes. Here is the sprig from that.

Once I got a close look at it I thought, "Hmmmmm...this looks a lot like that bush that grows in front of the sourwood tree." It has always reminded me of bamboo with it's hollow, woody stalks. Once we got back to the house I crossed the alley to the shop and, I'll be damned, there it was. The most gorgeous example of a Japanese knotweed bush that I've seen.  

Here's a close-up of a branch.

And an even closer photo of the flowers in full bloom.

There it was, all along, right under the sourwood tree.

I find it incredibly ironic that I have had these 2 plants, both of which are adored by bees, right here on my property for the past 13 years. I never in a million years would've guessed I'd end up as a beekeeper but apparently it was meant to be. BTW, the knotweed honey flow is on....right now! LOL!


Pete Hope said...

Wow, I wouldn't want japanese knotweed so close to my property, bees or no...

crazihippichic said...

That is your choice, Pete. This plant has been in the same spot for over 12 years without encroaching on the rest of the yard. I'm not buying into the anti-knotweed hype.