Feb 07 2011
I can usually identify this plant in a heartbeat, but I was stumped when I saw this photograph. Maybe you will be too, so I’ve made it a quiz.
Here are some clues:
- The plant is a perennial native of Asia.
- It’s invasive in North America wherever it’s found.
- The stems are hollow and stand over 10 feet tall, persisting through the winter.
- The plant spreads by wind-borne seeds and rhizomes.
- The rhizomes are particularly difficult to eradicate and result in dense stands of this plant.
- It was originally brought here as an ornamental because it’s flowers are arranged in pretty cream-colored sprays above the stems. (This is the flower stalk in winter.)
- The young stems are edible and taste like rhubarb but Americans don’t like it well enough it to reduce its population by harvesting.
Do you know what it is? Leave a comment with your answer.
(photo by Dianne Machesney)