As the name suggests, this plant is originally from East Asia. It arrived in the country in the 1800s and was used for ornamental reasons, according to the National Parks Service. Its small flowers allow it to spread quickly, and its roots are pretty strong which makes it harder to remove knotweed plants.
And like many invasive species, it grows quickly and sucks up all of the nutrients out of the soil before some nearby native species have a chance to grow. It also tolerates being in sunlight or in the shade, which makes it an unfortunately sturdy plant.
It’s a menace for gardeners throughout the country, but it’s becoming a favorite ingredient for chefs, Bon Appétit reported. It can be sautéed, pickled, or just eaten raw. For safety reasons, make sure that the area where the knotweed is sourced from hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides.