The Back Garden Project: The Knotweed Strikes Back

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The Back Garden Project: The Knotweed Strikes Back The Back Garden Project: The Knotweed Strikes Back
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The Back Garden Project: The Knotweed Strikes Back

by Gordon Douglas

July 5, 2010
But wait! It turns out that some people consider knotweed to be produce itself! Thanks to GOOD reader edgertor who clued me in to this in a comment a few weeks back, I've been reading into it. Food blogger Aaron Kagan has a great little piece on knotweed as food (from which the lovely photo below is borrowed), noting that "the flavor is an exact cross between asparagus and rhubarb."

Who knew? A quick search online will reveal dozens of recipes (here's another good site from forager "Wildman Steve Brill"). Apparently it's even a major source of resveratrol, for people on that tip. 

Unfortunately, as Oregon State's "Garden Hints" page notes with a straight face, "this plant grows and spreads too quickly for eating to be an effective means of control." Shucks.

But I wouldn't be eating any of my own Japanese knotweed anyway, considering the quality of my soil and how long its been growing there.

Still, it's good to know that this viciously invasive plant, which grows so aggressively throughout the country and the world (it's propogation and sale are prohibited in eight states and throughout the United Kingdom) actually has some apparently delicious uses.

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