A minor panic attack

mystery weedYou can drive past a plant for weeks on end, and not notice it.  This morning I almost crashed the car.

Right beside the letter box lurks a plump clump. Oh god, is it the dread Japanese knotweed?

I didn’t have time to investigate as I had an urgent appointment in town. (Okay, it was the hairdressers.)

But back on the farm I took the mower and the secateurs and the camera and walked down the road to the dread plant.

I have taken a sample, studied very carefully on every website and the answer is… I’m not sure.  The leaves are the same shape as knotweed, but not the way the leaves lie on the branches.  Knotweeds are  indeterminate; these ones are sitting exactly opposite each leaf (sorry I don’t know the term). A mirror image of leaves.  And the knotweed seems to have a chunkier stem that looks a bit like a bamboo. potted lilies

Needless to say I did the most logical thing. I cut it to the ground. And then mowed the whole area for fun. I’d much rather be outside doing a spot of housework than indoors mopping floors.

But I have been good. A clean house, full of flowers.  A few hours of chipping, a visit from Leslie and a long call to Sarah. A fine day after that scary start.

[And months later I learned that it is Tree of Heaven – Alianthus. Foul smelling tree in Chinese. Voracious. But not as bad as knotweed.]