Invasive bamboo-like plant spreading quickly in northern Minn.


Japanese knotweed, often incorrectly referred to as "bamboo" because of its tall, cane-like stems, is the latest invasive species to crop up in northern Minnesota, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Knotweed has started to overwhelm native species in streams, lakes and wetlands where it can survive high water and flooding and recover quickly.

The plant, an Asian member of the buckwheat family, is spreading faster than other invaders such as buckthorn, and eradication has proved difficult. The newspaper says the only thing that seems to kill Japanese knotweed are chemicals found in products like Roundup or Rodeo.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says knotweed is spreading from Maine to Minnesota, south to Louisiana and is scattered in midwestern and western states.

In West Virginia, knotweed is already threatening the state's fish and wildlife, including its native trout.

The invasive species has become a major issue in the UK. AOL Money has a story about a couple who had to demolish their home to rid it of the Japanese knotweed that had penetrated their walls.

The DNR says the best methods of control for small infestations is digging out the root or using a chemical treatment after cutting the stem.

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