Most definitely, Cindi, that's what it is. Bamboo, knotweed, that's the problem with common names, which is why I will usually use the latin name (Polygonum cuspidatum), but then people think I'm trying to be high fallutin :-P
The Victorians brought that over as an ornamental. Problem is it's horribly invasive, as some here have noted. If you really want to get rid of it, you have to use the bad stuff, Round-up, applied as it flowers. It'll take a few years of application to get rid of it. You can't dig it, one little piece of root will resprout.
Here's an article that's closer to you're part of the world. There's another, known as Giant Knotweed, (Polygonum sachalinense), that looks very similar but is huge! Funny thing is, my mother has that one in her garden, and for us here in New England it's very well behaved - go figure! :-P
Ann, good. Invasive species. Probably, sounds like it in a big way. The groves of the knotweed that I see around my community appear to be well-behaved too, not to say that they won't spread, but we have such places where they can grow and grow.
I googled Polygonum sachalinense, sounds really nice, interesting reading, I copied something from the site:"Beneficial: The rhizomes are mentioned as an herbal source for laxatives and diuretics (Inoue et al. 1992). The young shoots are edible, if not eaten excessively, and taste somewhat like rhubarb (Pojar and MacKinnon 1994). Introduced as a garden ornamental, it is considered overly aggressive. (Seiger 1995; Hitchcock and Cronquist 1973; Hitchcock et al 1964; Pridham and Bing 1975)."
I do not have any issues with propogating the knotweed on my property. Another lady that I know in Langely said that she has had a small gove growing for about 20 years beside her garage and it has not spread, she is aware of the invasiveness of this species. I am heading off to the top of our road soon to dig up a little bit of the root, then I can have this fall plant for my bees. I see it can grow to 10 feet or so from a few single little root cuttings, hmmm.....I will keep an eye on it.
I have Comfrey growing here like a mad man. When we first moved in over 17 years ago, comfrey was so deeply overgrown here, one could barely walk. I irradicated most of it, leaving only a big clump, which I contain quite nicely. Except, where I dig out the roots to keep it controlled, is now a comfrey patch gone wild, it is in my "unwanted" compost pile, where I throw all the weeds. Hmmmm.....it is good, it can grow to its heart content there, it is excellent for the bumblebees, the honeybees pay no mind, so I let it grow...and grow....and grow.
I would love the have the Giant Knotweed that your Mother has growing at her place, I looked at some sites and they are beautiful. She is a lucky woman (or is she????, maybe she doesn't want this species :) ;) :(
A plant that I tried to get hold of this spring, ordering through my local nursery, but never did obtain is the Giant Fleeceflower, "Persicaria polymorpha', google that one, it is beautiful too, sounds like it is a good bee plant as well. Well, gotta run, the sun is shinin', I have one more colony to ready for winter, it still has the 3rd super on and I know it has to be off and the boxes set up :) ;). I want to take some pictures of stuff too, so today is gonna be a busy day in the sun, fun, fun, fun!!! Best of this great life we're livin'. Cindi