Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica, is a pervasive weed with creeping roots and bamboo-like stems, that can quickly take over its growing space. Removing Japanese knotweed can be difficult, earning it its reputation as one of the most troublesome garden weeds. Homeowners should be particularly wary of it, as the presence of Japanese knotweed in the garden can deter potential future buyers and lead to banks refusing mortgage applications.
It was introduced to Britain by Victorian plant hunters, and was prized for its exotic appearance, heart-shaped leaves and attractive flowers, which resemble those of astilbe or goatsbeard. However, its rampant growth quickly made it unsuitable for garden cultivation.