(By J. Gr.)
They were a lot taller than the three foot maximum that Ron told us about. Some of them reached six feet. And the flower wasn’t exactly what he told us either, more reddish. We saw some again yesterday, heading east from Richmond, again in really wet soil. This time I noticed that they were growing on segmented stalks, like bamboo. When a local man was walking with us I asked him what he thought they were; he wasn’t sure but thought they looked something like orchids. In the afternoon, a big party with tour guides passed us, and Joyce asked one of the guides if she knew what that flower was. “Japanese knotweed,” was the answer. “Really invasive.”
Now, I thought of myself as pretty familiar with Japanese knotweed. There’s a stand of it in Cinnaminson that I’ve been trying to keep from spreading. And there’s all that knotweed we see along the Esopus, and at Palmyra Cove. I don’t ever remember a flower like that. But at the moment, I couldn’t tell you just what the flower looks like, back at home. And the rest of the plant — yes, it’s a pretty good match. So for now, I guess I believe the tour guide.
(By J. Gr.)