JDCF staff has observed a new invasive weed, Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica/Polygonum cuspidatum), around streams and drainage ditches in in the Galena area. Invasive species, often plants or animals arriving from other continents, have created huge challenges for land managers of conservation lands in NW Illinois. If left untreated, Japanese Knotweed could spread further around the county causing ecological and economic harm. JDCF staff would like to halt the spread of Japanese Knotweed by treating populations throughout the county with no cost to the landowner! JDCF secured a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to assist in this effort.
Japanese Knotweed was originally introduced to North America from Asia as an ornamental plant. Once established it spreads rapidly creating a density that out-competes native species reducing the health and wildlife habitat in forests, stream corridors, and wet prairies. Japanese Knotweed grows well in moist areas such as stream banks, roadsides, and floodplains. It can reach 3-10ft tall with large triangular to heart shaped leaves and multiple spikes of white flowers. The most identifiable characteristic is the thick jointed stem that is often a reddish purple color. If you believe you have Japanese Knotweed on your property please contact JDCF at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 858-9100.