Conservation Corner: Not Knotweed!

By Kristin Peney -
Community Programs Manager

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species that was introduced to assist with erosion control and landscape screening (sound familiar? I’m looking at you, Kudzu). According to the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Service, leaves of the knotweed are six inches long, three-to-four inches wide, and are heart-shaped. Flowering occurs in late summer when small, greenish-white flowers develop in long panicles in the axils of the leaves. 

While bees and a few other pollinators love this plant for its flowers, it can easily dominate an area, overtaking the native plants because it can survive a variety of conditions including full shade, high salinity, high temperatures, and drought. It also thrives close to water sources. Aside from its tolerance for harsh environmental conditions, invasive species like knotweed are known for the difficulty of their eradication. Some herbicides are effective at exterminating the knotweed when properly administered, but it is also worth noting that knotweed is a wonderfully edible plant with a sour-apple flavor. Treated like rhubarb, the knotweed bar is complemented with strawberry preserves. For an added touch, try a walnut streusel topping! You can try out these bars yourself with the recipe below. 



YIELD: 16 Servings 

START TO FINISH: 45 Minutes 


1 cup flour 

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 

8 tablespoons cold butter, salted 


3/4 cup strawberry preserves 

2 large eggs, beaten 

2/3 cup white sugar 

1/4 cup flour 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg 

3 cups chopped knotweed stalks, leaves removed 

Streusel Topping: 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

½ cup brown sugar 

1/3 cup walnuts 

¼ teaspoon salt 

5 tablespoons butter, melted 

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 pan. For crust, cut one cup flour, one cup confectioner’s sugar, and eight tablespoons cold butter together until they resemble coarse crumbs. Press crumbs into an 8x8 inch pan. Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown. For the filling, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a whisk. Stir in knotweed thoroughly. Spread strawberry jam over crust and pour filling on top of crust evenly. For the streusel topping, mix together flour to salt, and then fork in melted butter. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let bars cool and cut into squares. 

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.