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Japanese Knotweed (Source: UTRCA)

There’s a concerted effort to rid parkland along the Thames River of the invasive Japanese Knotweed.

On Friday, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) is working with the Municipality of West Perth to remove it from along the river in Mitchell.

The agency says Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive semi-woody perennial plant that is native to eastern Asia.

It was introduced to North America in the 1800s as an ornamental species.

UTRCA says Japanese Knotweed is often mistaken for bamboo, but it is distinguished by its broad leaves and its ability to survive Ontario winters.

“Japanese Knotweed is especially persistent due to its vigorous root system, which can spread nearly 10 metres from the parent stem and grow through concrete and asphalt,” says Jay Ebel, forestry technician at the UTRCA.

“This invader is very persistent and once it becomes established, is incredibly difficult to control.”

In Ontario, the invader is mainly in southern and central areas of the province. It is also against the law to buy, sell, propogate or purposely grow it in the province.