This is the time of year to keep an eye out for Japanese knotweed. The Berrien County Conservation District’s Jared Harmon tells WSJM News the invasive plant just started sprouting its most distinctive feature last week.
“It starts producing its white flowers,” Harmon said. “They’re kind of on a spike, and they’re really easy to identify because they’re one of the few plants blossoming right now. If you’re driving, along the side of the road is the best place to find them. You’ll notice they have those creamy white flowers that are just beginning to bloom. It usually starts around mid August.”
The Japanese knotweed has been spreading around southwest Michigan in recent years, with Harmon telling us it’s not just appearing along the lakeshore. He’s found it as far east as St. Joseph County. The invasive plant is a problem because it can damage and grow through infrastructure. Harmon tells us sightings of the weed can be reported to the Michigan State University Extension office. There’s also a phone app for that purpose.