Green Fingers I Wish

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Insects Control Japanese Knotweed

With its clusters of pretty white flowers, Japanese knotweed was first introduced as an ornamental plant. But with no natural enemies in the UK it soon raged out of control, wiping out surrounding vegetation and threatening wildlife. The fast-growing plant can grow up to 13 feet tall and is so strong it can break through paving stones and tarmac.

It has been estimated that to remove all knotweed from the UK would cost several billion pounds.

However scientists have identified an insect - the psyllid called Aphalara itadori - that keeps the superweed under control in its native Japan by feeding on the leaves and stunting growth.

Now the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly have launched a consultation on releasing the insect in Britain.

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