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Useful Temperate Plants

Reynoutria sachalinensis

(F.Schmidt) Nakai

Polygonaceae

+ Synonyms

Fallopia sachalinensis (F.Schmidt) Ronse Decr.

Pleuropterus sachalinensis (F.Schmidt) Moldenke

Polygonum sachalinense F.Schmidt

Reynoutria brachyphylla (Honda) Nakai

Tiniaria sachalinensis (F.Schmidt) Janch.

Common Name: Giant Knotweed

No Image.

General Information

Reynoutria sachalinensis is a very vigrous, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a rhizomatous rootstock with long stolons. It produces a large, dense clump of sparingly-branched, stout, erect, hollow stems around 200 - 400cm tall[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Reynoutria sachalinensis spreads freely at the roots, forming dense clumps of growth up to 400cm tall. It can become a highly invasive plant, capable of outcompeting and displacing native species, especially in riparian zones which it prefers. It has spread to many areas of the temperate zone, especially in N. America and Europe, usually without the aid of seed dispersal though it does provide pollen for the fertilization of Reynoutria japonica plants to produce the highly invasive Reynoutria x bohemica. Though not considered as problematic as Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), eradication can be a real challenge.

Known Hazards

Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people.
Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) - whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

E. Asia - Sakhalin Island, Japan, Korea

Habitat

Along ravines and by streams in montane areas of Sakhalin Island[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height2.50 m
Growth RateFast
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Reynoutria sachalinensis is a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate temperatures down to around -40°c when fully dormant[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or shade[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
111
Title
Popular Hardy Perennials.
Publication
 
Author
Sanders. T. W.
Publisher
Collingridge
Year
1926
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
]. Very tolerant of a wide range of soils from volcanic ash to muddy riverbanks[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
An extremely invasive plant, capable of sending up new shoots at a considerable distance from the main clump[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Considered a pest in many areas, if grown in the garden it should be planted within a barrier to contain its roots.
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
Some plants only bear all female flowers whilst others bear hermaphrodite flowers[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. Plants are self-incompatible and, since the two forms are rarely found growing together outside the plant's native range, fertile seed is rarely propduced. However, this species does hybridize with the related Reynoutria japonica to form self-sustaining and invasive populations of Reynoutria x bohemica[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Edible Uses

Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
116
Title
Oriental Herbs and Vegetables, Vol 39 No. 2.
Publication
 
Author
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Publisher
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
A small booklet packed with information.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. They can be added to salads or cooked as an asparagus substitute[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. They have an acid flavour and we find that they are more like a rhubarb substitute[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Older stems and shoot tips - cooked. The stems are best peeled. Tasting like a mild version of rhubarb, they have a superior quality with a hint of lemon in the flavour[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Seed - cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a thickener and flavouring in soups etc, or as an extender in flour. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize. The seed is often not produced in cultivation because plants are self-sterile and most plantings are of a single clone.

Medicinal

The plant (part not specified) is viewed as an effective treatment for arthralgia, jaundice, amenorrhea, coughs, scalds and burns, traumatic injuries, carbuncles and sores[
1950
Title
Neuroprotective compounds from Reynoutria sachalinensis
Publication
Arch. Pharm. Res. DOI 10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Author
M. R. Eom et al.
Website
http://10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
1976-3786
Description
 
].

The antioxidant activity of anthraquinones and flavonoids from flower extracts has been described[
1950
Title
Neuroprotective compounds from Reynoutria sachalinensis
Publication
Arch. Pharm. Res. DOI 10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Author
M. R. Eom et al.
Website
http://10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
1976-3786
Description
 
].
The stems and roots are a good source of resveratrol, a compound that shows activity against cancerous cells[
1950
Title
Neuroprotective compounds from Reynoutria sachalinensis
Publication
Arch. Pharm. Res. DOI 10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Author
M. R. Eom et al.
Website
http://10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
1976-3786
Description
 
]
The flowers and stems have been shown to contain various compounds with antioxidative activity and the ability to regulate the lneurotransmitter glutamate. They have potential in the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson’s disease, ischaemic stroke, and spinal cord trauma[
1950
Title
Neuroprotective compounds from Reynoutria sachalinensis
Publication
Arch. Pharm. Res. DOI 10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Author
M. R. Eom et al.
Website
http://10.1007/s12272-017-0918-x
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
1976-3786
Description
 
]

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant spreads very freely at the roots and was originally planted outside its native range for its ability to bind soil and prevent erosion[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. Whilst it does have the ability to bind the soil, it should only be used for this purpose within its native range since it can so easily become an invasive weed in many other parts of the world[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Plants are very vigorous and could be grown as a tall ground cover[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].
The plant has been shown to accumulate heavy metals from the soils in which it grows[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant has been promoted as a living firebreak since the leaves and foliage contain around 82% moisture. Trials in Sakhalin of its fire-resistant properties indicated that thickets of the plant are a completely effective barrier against low forest fires[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]

Other Uses

The plant is a potential source of biomass. It can produce up to 68.2 - 69.5 tonnes of dry matter per hectatr, with an above ground:below ground ratio of 1:3 and an annual growth rate of 31.8-32.8 tonnes per hectare[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Leaf extracts can be used as a plant fungicide against powdery mildew[]. Leaf extracts, applied to growing plants, have been shown to greatly reduce the occurrence of leaf mildew on plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers. It works by preventing the disease and has little effect on reducing the incidence of mildew that is already present[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

The plant contains useful quantities of tannins[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-11. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Reynoutria+sachalinensis>

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