Japanese knotweed is an introduced and invasive species in British Columbia that is native to eastern Asia (Japan, China and Korea). It was imported as an ornamental plant and is sometimes used as a fence. It is a herbaceous perennial that thrives in disturbed sites, spreads rapidly, and forms thickets that are difficult to eradicate. New plants can grow from small pieces of root.
Japanaes knotweed is similar in appearance to Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica) and giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) (though usually smaller) and hybridizes with giant knotweed.
Japanese knotweed is considered one of the top ten invasive plant species in British Columbia and is targeted for eradication. "The invasive root system and strong growth can damage foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites." (Wikipedia 2012).