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Author Topic: Unknown honey plant.  (Read 2706 times)
yockey5
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« on: September 02, 2011, 12:03:43 PM »




In full bloom now and being heavily worked. I do not know what this plant is. Any help? I live in north eastern Indiana, USA.
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yockey5
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 12:04:36 PM »

I tried to post pics! help!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 12:05:06 PM »

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In full bloom now and being heavily worked. I do not know what this plant is. Any help? I live in north eastern Indiana, USA.


I cannot see these pictures. Can any one else?
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
nella
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 12:27:13 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed

I can see the pictures.
 It makes pretty tasty honey.
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yockey5
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 12:38:16 PM »

Can this plant be purchased, started from seed, .....etc? It seems to be a prolific nectar producer and I would love to start this plant in and around my farm.
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 01:25:19 PM »

nella; Thanks for the excellent link.  We call it Mexican Bamboo around here, very invasive but prized by honeybees.  I've been touting it to beekeepers for many years.  My bees are just starting to hit on ours as its just starting to flower, even turning away from the goldenrod.  The flowers smell pleasent and are sickly sweet, hence honeybees love for it.  I've heard there is also a variety that blooms in Spring.  Gotta get some of that.

We planted ours about ten years ago (one shovel full from a friends back forty).  It dies back to the ground and then doubles in size each season, now ours is as big as a house, very hardy. 

Do NOT plant this shrub if you don't have room for its inevitable expansion.  It will completely take over a small yard in no time.

thomas
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yockey5
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 01:38:43 PM »

Should this be dug in the fall? I have plenty of room for this shrub and bees that need fall pasture!
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windfall
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2011, 02:41:18 PM »

Yes the bees love it, But as Thomas mentioned it is extremely invasive....really, it is pretty irresponsible to plant it anywhere you cannot confine/control it...and that is hard to do

It has completely taken over many stream and riverside areas all through the northeast. Almost impossible to get rid of once it is established and spreads prolifically by seed as well as washed out tubers. Where it does get a foothold it forms dense pure stands and pushes out everything else native. I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours dedicated folks have spent trying to reclaim some areas for native species.

You can eat the tender shoots in spring, and I have just learned this year how much the bees love it...but those are it's only redeeming traits to my knowledge.

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yockey5
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 02:48:23 PM »

Thank you all for this information. I may not plant this now. I will give it much thought before I do.
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 03:01:21 PM »

Should this be dug in the fall? I have plenty of room for this shrub and bees that need fall pasture!

If you have the room it would make an excellent hedgerow (I would think you could dig it up and plant anytime).  I keep ours in check by mowing around it (the shoots come up in the surrounding lawn all summer). 

And its very true about waterways.  Don't plant near any as it won't ever be the same again.  This really is one of the most invasive plants I've ever come across so beware.

thomas
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yockey5
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 03:07:21 PM »

Thank you Thomas, as this opens 3 areas that I have here that I could plant on. One last question remains though. Will wind born seeds be a problem if I should plant?
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 03:21:56 PM »

To be honest I've never looked for the seed but I think its too big to get blown around much (could be wrong). Ours spreads mainly by root division.  There's no other patches around my place so I feel pretty certain that seeds being blown won't be an issue......but...... Undecided 

I've manged to keep ours contained with no problem but I have lots of room and I'm able to mow all around it.  That I believe, is key.

thomas
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 03:22:52 PM »

As is the case with all exotic invasives,  you are taking responsibility for the plant in perpetuity.   This plant will outlive you.  So what happens when you go to that great beeyard in the sky?  Can you guarantee that the landowner who comes after you will know what the plant is, will care if it takes over the land, will have the ability to control it?  

I feel strongly about this because I've been fighting some Chinese wisteria that I planted 20 years ago.  For 15 years it did nothing.  Then it started to spread a little each year.  Three years ago it exploded and took over a major part of my land.  I stopped it just as it was reaching the creek bank.  I spent $1500 to have trees cut down so I could get at the wisteria with spray.  Now I will have to spray it several times a year for 3 years to finally kill it.  The forestry service guys hate this stuff.

I'm also having an issue with some crepe myrtle that I cut down 2 years ago.  It started to spread and is also hard to control.  With these experiences, I decided to dig up some bamboo that I had started last year a couple of hundred yards from my house. It's just not worth it.
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yockey5
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2011, 03:24:01 PM »

Works for me. I will try this plant as it fills the need for fall flows.
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Poppi
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 03:56:44 PM »

FRAMEshift,   good idea on the bamboo...  I planted some, let it go for 5 years...  got tired of trying to control it and it took me 3 years to kill it.  Had to dig it out by the roots and roundup, roundup, roundup...   

John
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2011, 10:41:05 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed

Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. Japanese knotweed yields a monofloral honey, usually called bamboo honey by northeastern U.S. beekeepers, like a mild-flavored version of buckwheat honey (a related plant also in the Polygonaceae).

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/weeds/aqua015.html

Common names: Japanese knotweed, fleeceflower, Mexican bamboo, huzhang

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum or syn. Fallopia japonica) is a perennial species with spreading rhizomes and numerous reddish-brown, freely branched stems. The plant can reach four to eight feet in height and is often shrubby. The petioled leaves are four to six inches long and generally ovate with an abrupt point. The whitish flowers are borne in open, drooping panicles. The plant is dioecious, so male and female versions of the inconspicuous flowers are produced on separate plants. The approximately 1/8 inch long fruits are brown, shiny, triangular achenes, (Hitchcock and Cronquist 1964; Hickman 1993).

Japanese knotweed is a very aggressive species (Hitchcock and Cronquist 1964) that is capable of crowding out all other vegetation (Ahrens 1975); Hickman (1993) lists the species as a noxious weed. In addition, the plant can create a fire hazard in the dormant season (Ahrens 1975). Japanese knotweed is an escaped ornamental that is becoming increasingly common along stream corridors and rights-of-way in Washington. The species forms dense stands that crowd out all other vegetation, degrading native plant and animal habitat. This perennial plant is difficult to control because it has extremely vigorous rhizomes that form a deep, dense mat. In addition, the plant can resprout from fragments; along streams, plant parts may fall into the water to create new infestations downstream.
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yockey5
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2011, 10:57:15 AM »

I have decided that I should take the bees to the shrub and not bring the shrub home. Thanks guys.
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Sparky
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 10:13:35 PM »

The flowers look like the one in our yard that my other half calls Sherry Sue. They have a bunch of aroma.
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Michael Bach
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 06:13:54 PM »

Like has been pointed out it is japanese knotweed.

The stuff grows feet a day in the spring.

Fabulous honey.  Black in color.  In strong years bees can put up a lot of it.

The fed's has started an eradication program so it may not be as abundant in years to come.

In one of my bee yards I have a few hundred square feet of it a couple feet away from the hives.
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diggity
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2011, 11:30:10 AM »

Definitely Japanese knotweed.  It's so invasive, I think it's going to take over the world.  Just a few years ago it seemed more rare - I only noticed it in a few urban areas here in central MA.  This summer, it seems that I see it everywhere I go.  Down the Cape, all through the CT river valley, up into VT and NH.  Sure, it may make good honey, but it is not welcome in my neighborhood!  Very difficult to get rid of too.   angry
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