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The genus knotweed (Polygonum) was restructured by the plant systematics some years ago. The Schling-Knöterich (formerly Polygonum aubertii), a strongly growing climbing wood, now belongs to the genus Flügelknöteriche (Fallopia). This includes the vigorous Japanese perennial knotweed (Fallopia japonica), which in Germany mainly as a stubborn neophyte in wet, nutrient-rich locations around him and should therefore be taboo as a garden plant. The popular as a flowering perennial snake knotweed (formerly Polygonum bistorta) is now called botanically Bistorta officinalis and belongs as well as the Knotweed (Bistorta amplexicaulis) to the Wiesenknöterichen. The German name Knöterich refers only to the genus Persicaria - it includes the native swamp and water perennials water knotweed (Persicaria amphibia) and water pepper (Persicaria hydropiper). The old botanical genus Polygonum finally called today the knotweed oak, of which the flat-growing, sprawling piebald knotweed (Polygonum affine), also called snail knotweed, as ground-covering perennial for sunny, barren sites is popular. It is occasionally offered in the nurseries but also under the name Bistorta affinis.
The various species are found in the temperate zones of the entire northern hemisphere, but their distribution is in Europe and Asia. Despite the new classification, the plants still belong to the family of the Knöterichgewächse (Polygonaceae) and show a unique feature that distinguishes them as such: It is the more or less pronounced, eponymous knots that divide the stems into individual segments. The herbaceous species grow upright or down-lying and usually have stalk-enclosing, alternate leaves with elongated, often tapered leaf sheaths. The white, pink or red flowers appear in most species in May and June. They are usually arranged in a dense, terminal ear or form, as in Schling-Knöterich, loose panicles. He is one of the few real woody plants of the family, grows very fast and reached with appropriate climbing aid effortlessly plant heights by ten feet. Most knotweeds are adaptable to the location and soil and can endure surprisingly long periods of drought. However, they prefer sunny to partially shaded locations on nutrient-rich and deep, sufficiently moist soils.
The snake knotweed is an old wild vegetable and medicinal herb: its starchy and vitamin-rich roots were previously laid in water overnight and then prepared as a patty or eaten in a salad. The sap was also used to treat snake bites.
Snake Knotweed (Bistorta officinalis)
The Schling-Knöterich grows on nutrient-rich soils up to five meters per year and is suitable for the rapid greening of high house facades - because of its property, quick to conceal unsightly buildings, it is popularly called architectentrost. The Schlingtriebe need vertical climbing aids, for example tensioning cables made of stainless steel.
The stubbly growing species and varieties are usually planted flat and with their extremely robust nature ideal for easy care gardens. Above all, the Knotweed is one of the few shrubs that still look good even after hot dry summers without additional watering in autumn - that's why it is often used in prairie plantations. The snake knotweed can be used very well for the greening of partially shaded trees, but also looks good in the perennial border and at the edge of the pond. The sturdy, small piebald-knotweed likes to grow as a full-frame perennial and as a ground cover in broad, pebbly paving joints and in the rock garden. It is also suitable for planting trays and troughs. The Water Knotweed with its floating leaves is a valuable and very easy to care for the planting of the shallow water zone in the garden pond.
All knotweeds are extremely robust and capable of regeneration. Also the Schling-Knöterich pushes out vigorously, if one has put it on the stick in the spring. An occasional rejuvenation is recommended in this species, as its flowers usually wear off over time.
If necessary, the higher perennials are cut back in early spring.The snake knotweed and the candle knotweed bloom after six weeks a second time, if you cut off the first pile immediately after wilting and then supplies the perennials with something quickly acting fertilizer.
Schling-Knöterich (Fallopia aubertii)
A regular division is not necessary for the rejuvenation of the perennials, as Knöteriche are generally long-lived.
The piebald knotweed, especially the garden variety 'Darjeeling Red' with its intense red flowers, needs a soil that does not wet in winter. In Kahlfrost and sharp easterly winds you should cover the Staudenteppiche with some fir-spruce.
Knotweeds are very easy to multiply. When Schling knotweed this is usually done by pickpocketing or cuttings. Most perennials form foothills, which one simply repays in the spring for propagation. A cuttings propagation is also possible.
Diseases and pests
Knotweed are less susceptible to diseases and pests. In meadow kitten, occasionally leaf spot diseases occur in wet years. In dry heat spider mite infestations can occur.