How to Prepare and Cook Japanese Knotweed

Wrangle the highly invasive, yet edible, Japanese knotweed plant to use in sauces, soups, potatoes, pickled dishes, and more.

  • Japanese knotweed
    A relentlessly dense plant, Japanese knotweed causes problems for plants and ecologies, and is on many state noxious weeds lists.
    Photo by Adobe Stock/emer
  • cooked japanese knotweed
    Japanese knotweed can have an earthily sour flavor.
    Photo by Chelsea Green Publishing

  • Japanese knotweed
  • cooked japanese knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Status: Noxious perennial weed

Where: Widespread near streams and rivers, woodlands, disturbed ground

Season: Spring

Parts Used: Shoots, tender leaf tips, flowers

Like so many other problem plants, Japanese knotweed, an East Asia native, was first imported to the United States as a garden ornamental. It has jointed stems and bamboo-like growth. Also known as fleeceflower, it dies back to the ground every winter and rises again in the spring.

Fallopia japonica is on many state noxious weeds lists. Its relentlessly dense colonies exclude native plants, and it alters local ecologies, choking streamsides and riverbanks. Its shoots can even crack asphalt and concrete.

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