Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Japanese knotweed scare – 4

073According to the Metro of 28 September 2015, ‘a tiny Japanese insect could rid Britain of the scourge of invasive [Japanese] knotweed’ (Fallopia japonica).  Trials using Aphalara itadori have entered their second stage and a few of the insects have been released at a secret location in Cornwall.  Aphalara ‘sucks the plant’s noxious sap and may help its relentless march across Britain’s hedgerows’.                                                                                        Apart from the fact that Japanese knotweed is not usually a ‘hedgerow’ plant, is its sap really ‘noxious’, and, if it is, noxious to what?  PL-A contains records of the plant being eaten and used as peashooters by schoolboys.

Image:  Holy Trinity Cemetery, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany; April 2015.

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