Sunday, September 19, 2010
I had been somewhat frantically searching for the name of a most wonderful plant, a native shrub (at least I assumed it was native) growing in large drifts along highways and in forgotten ditches in Pennsylvania. I thought it quite pretty, with large heart shaped foliage, long sprays of tiny, slightly scented white flowers. It even bloomed in late summer which anyone could tell you is a good thing. That is when we all want something, anything, blooming. That is when most other plants peter out, after all.
I took cuttings of this plant numerous times and tried in vain to root these pieces. I tried every which way, using methods I had been successful with in propagation with other plants, but still, nothing. I dearly wanted to have one of my very own. No such luck. I searched online and looked in countless plant and seed catalogs, to no avail.
So, I asked anyone who might know what the name of this plant could be. I described it to them and they just shrugged at me. No one knew what I was talking about. No one had this wonderful plant for sale, either. That should have been my first clue. I always miss those.
Well, lo and behold, I stumble upon a website devoted to invasive species (YES! Invasive. Who knew?) and what should I find but my pretty little shrub, and it’s name: Japanese Knotweed.. Invasive species???? My pretty little plant? I simply could not believe this, but, indeed, it is true (if you’re willing to believe that website).
What I want to know is why, if it is so very invasive, couldn’t I ever get it to propagate either by root or stem cuttings? I didn’t even see any seeds, so, how was this thing actually doing all this “invasive” propagating? I mean to say, how very invasive could Japanese Knotweed truly be if I couldn’t get it to grow? It’s not like I’ve never failed. I have, I can assure you! But we’re talking an invasive species here. That’s like saying “I wish I could get these dandelion seeds to germinate” HUH?
So, if you find yourself a weed you simply cannot get rid of, call it invasive and then maybe it'll vanish for good. I’m just saying is all!