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Japanese Knotweed

I sent this e-mail to the environmental agency and received the answer, both below. I am now even more confused,

Are my concerns unfounded?

This may be of little or no importance, but I thought there was some sort of problem with Japanese knotweed, and looked it up on the internet.

I volunteer at a hospice one day a week, my job is to arrange flowers for areas of the hospice. We receive a lot of floral tributes from various florists, which we dismantle and rearrange.  A lot of the tributes contain Japanese Knotweed , and this has make me question if, by putting it in the household waste, is in fact doing harm to the environment? If this is the case, then maybe we as a country should not be encouraging the use of this plant as a general foliage, used in the Florist industry.

Regards Carol West


Dear Carol,


Thank you for your email regarding the use of Japanese Knotweed in floral arrangements.


Japanese Knotweed is not reportable to the Environment Agency and we have no regulatory powers regarding the management of this weed. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 lists the plant as a 'controlled waste' and it must be disposed of properly. The Environment Agency regulates these activities. It is an offence to plant or cause Japanese knotweed to spread in the wild under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.


The plant is mainly spread through the fly tipping of green waste containing Japanese knotweed and by vehicles transporting contaminated soil and waste between sites. However, if the plant is being spread by the incorrect methods of removal (i.e using a strimmer and spreading the plant) this is reportable to your local police Wildlife Liaison Officer. You can find contact details of your local police station on the UK Police Service website.


Our website has guidance and clear pictures of Japanese Knotweed, if this plant is being used in the floral arrangements as you suspect please contact your local Wildlife Liaison Officer.




  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,354

    If you're sure that it's JK Then I would contact the local WLO and discuss.

    Over the last year I have seen a lot of harmless plants mis-identified as JK. How sure are you?

    Lots of people will be releasing this stuff to tips and I'm surprised florists are supplying it. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Your local council website should have information on disposal - usually under Recycling, Rubbish and Waste or similar. The stems should go to an approved landfill site and certainly should not go in green waste for composting.

    I didn't know that it is used in flower arranging, looks pretty ugly to me!

  • I'd be surprised if Japanese Knotweed is being used by florists, but of course I may be wrong.

    There are lots of different plants from the Persicaria family, some of whom also share the name Knotweed, and many of these are valuable garden plants - I have seen some of these used in floral arrangements.

    If you click on this link and scroll down, and then click on the link in Spot the Difference, you will find some of them.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,354

    the more I think about it the more unlikely it seems. It would be letting JK loose to colonise private and council compost heaps and land fill sites all over the country. As far as I know that hasn't happened

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • There is no such thing as a notifiable plant. Human diseases, yes, plants no.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    There are injurious weeds which it is an offence to have growing on your land.  Councils should get rid of them from road verges, but they don't.

    I suspect Carol is mis-identifying what is in the florists' flowers.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,354

    I think the offence is to cause or allow them to spread onto farmland.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,409

    I hope that the stuff is not Japanese Knotweed , I would send some to the RHS , if it is then please don't let this go 

    Everything you read on the Internet is true , this stuff is Herendous , I'm on a Housing Ass Board and a couple of years go we spent thousands to get rid of this stuff from a site 

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