Glenroe Tidy Towns group has identified four stands of Japanese Knotweed on the roadside and in a wood in their South Limerick community.

A tidy towns seminar is being held on this Thursday night commencing at 7.15pm in the Ballyhoura Artisan Food Park, Kilfinane where there will be a talk on invasive species such as the Japanese Knotweed and everyone is invited to attend.

Japanese Knotweed, introduced to Ireland from Japan in the early 19th century, grows to 2 metres and while it has a nice flower in late summer, it also has a nasty side. It’s rhizomes spread up to 7 metres and can go to a depth of 3 metres under ground.

It can destabilise structures and can be seen growing up through hard surfaces e.g. tarmacadam etc. It also has negative impacts on other plants, for wildlife and soil erosion.

The main method of eradicating the knotweed is chemical spray or injection. The ideal time to spray or inject is late in the season once the plant stops growing and has flowered, around September/October.

Do not cut the plant as this will only encourage it to spread. It is spread through particles of the stem or the rhizome being moved.

Readers may have heard the media coverage around using the leaves for salads or tarts and wish to experiment, but only pick off the leaves.

Do not, under any circumstances, cut the stems.

Further information from Ballyhoura Development 063-91300.