china

Today we take a look at a type of knotweed found not too far from its troublesome cousin Japanese knotweed - Chinese knotweed (Reynoutria multiflora). 

This plant is a flowering species that actually belongs to the buckwheat family! Found predominantly in (you guessed it) mainland China, it looks deceptively like Japanese knotweed in more ways than one. It features:

  • Tall woody stems that could be mistaken for bamboo
  • Broad arrowhead leaves
  • Greenish-white flowers that grow on dense panicles

Sounds a lot like Japanese knotweed right? Well, one thing that this plant produces that we don't see in Japanese knotweed is a fruit. The fruits of the Chinese knotweed plant are small, dry one-seeded fruits that do not open, also known as achenes.

In one of our blogs, we explored the benefits of Japanese knotweed, and it turns out Chinese knotweed has lots of medicinal uses too! In fact, reynoutria multiflora is a very popular perennial used in traditional Chinese medicines. 

The Chinese refer to the plant as he shou wu or fo-ti, and unlike Japanese knotweed in this country which is seen as an unwanted, invasive species, they cultivate it for ornamental purposes and for use in medicines. This type of knotweed grows in abundance, and here's why..

dried chinese knotweed

Medicinal Uses

This wonderful weed is said to restore virility and vitality in those who consume it, working on the reproductive, circulatory and urinary systems as well as the liver. 

The roots and stems boast a wide range of properties that make this weed a one-stop medicine shop! When ingested, they can work as a sedative, a laxative an anti cholesterolemic or as a treatment for menstrual or menopausal problems (to name but a few of its many uses). 

It's even been reported that people who take the rhizomes for a long period of time experiencing a darkening in their hair!

Besides the wide range of internal uses, Chinese knotweed can also be applied externally to treat conditions like ringworm, and its antibacterial properties mean it can even be used to clean open wounds and sores. You can read more about the medicinal uses of Chinese knotweed here.

So it's fair to say that Chinese knotweed is somewhat more respected and cherished in the community that its Japanese cousin! With that in mind, if you do happen to see Japanese knotweed encroaching on your property, request a free survey and we'll help you get it under control.

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