• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed has large pointed-oval leaves and hollow stems.

NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

Fallopia japonica
(also known as Polygonum cuspidatum)

Japanese knotweed is a shrub-like herbaceous plant with hollow, bamboo-like stems. It is very persistent and can reproduce from small pieces of stem and root.

Identification:

Japanese knotweed is a perennial with many smooth, reddish-brown, jointed stems that grow three to ten feet tall. Its leaves are as large as six inches long by four inches wide, oval or triangular, and pointed at the tip. Flowers are very small, white to green, and grow in drooping clusters. Seeds form soon after flowers and are triangular, shiny, and winged.

Look-a-likes:

These two species are also invasive.

  • Giant knotweed (Polygonum sachalinense)
  • The hybrid of Japanese and giant knotweed:
    Bohemian knotweed (Polygonum xbohemicum)
 
Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed stems are jointed where the leaves attach and sometimes look spotted.

NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

How is it spreading and where?

This species was introduced from Asia as an ornamental. It is very aggressive and forms large, dense thickets that completely exclude native groundcover. Frost kills the plant above ground, but it can still spread from deep underground rhizomes or roots. It also spreads by seed. It can tolerate partial shading. It can survive severe floods. Once established, Japanese knotweed is extremely persistent. Chemicals in the roots exclude other plants nearby. Small pieces of the plant can root and grow. It is a Class B weed in Washington State, which means it should be contained within current boundaries to prevent their further spread.

The NPS Exotic Plant Management Team has been aggressively treating knotweed populations throughout the park, particularly along coastal rivers. All known infestations are currently being treated, but it can take several years to completely control an established population.

 
EPMT knotweed treatment

Japanese knotweed is treated with herbicide by the NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

Control in Olympic:

Hand-pulling or mowing is avoided with Japanese knotweed, since it can reproduce from fragments of stem and root. It is important to prevent seed production as much as possible. The most effective knotweed treatment is application of herbicide.

For more information, see Weed Resources.

Back to Invasive Plants

Did You Know?

DYK fisher release

Fishers (members of the weasel family, related to minks and otters) were reintroduced to Olympic National Park in 2008-10. They are native to the forests of Washington, including the Olympic Peninsula, but disappeared due to overtrapping in the late 1800s/early 1900s and habitat loss.