Japanese knotweed history

Knotweed through time

Japanese Knotweed has a history in Europe dating back almost 200 years. The invasive weed was introduced in Victorian times as an exotic plant and continues to inhabit our countryside and gardens to this day.

To give you a better understanding of how the Japanese knotweed became so prominent in the UK, the timeline below gives an overview of the plants migration from its native Japan.

Japanese Knotweed timeline history

  • 1823-1829: Phillipe von Siebold, a Dutch doctor living in Japan, surveys plants and animal species
  • 1841: von Siebold, returns to the Netherlands and sets up the Royal Society for Encouragement of Horticulture giving him a governmental monopoly on plant species from exotic lands
  • Late 1840s: Phillipe von Siebold travels to the UK and begins to sell Japanese Knotweed to botanical gardens and high society figures
  • 1848: Japanese Knotweed becomes commercially available in Europe
  • 1850: Kew Royal Botanic Gardens sells Japanese Knotweed to private companies
  • 1869: Japanese Knotweed becomes readily available for public sale in the UK, with cattle farmers using the plant as feed for their animals
  • 1870: William Robinson publishes “The Wild Garden”, encouraging the purchase of Japanese Knotweed
  • 1884: John Wood of Kirkstall proclaims that Japanese Knotweed is “a capital plant for the small town garden”
  • 1887: Perceptions of Japanese Knotweed begin to change with many gardeners now not liking the invasive species
  • Early 1900s: Japanese Knotweed begins to “escape” and grow in the wild
  • 1930s: Presence of Japanese Knotweed reduces house prices in East Cornwall by £100
  • 1981: The Wildlife and Country Act, makes it an offence to introduce Japanese Knotweed in the wild
  • 1998: Survey of Japanese Knotweed around the Swansea area shows it covers 99 hectares
  • 2008: Study in Belgium looks at chemical controls for Japanese Knotweed
  • 2011: Aphids are released in Swansea to try to combat Japanese Knotweed
  • 2012: Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 introduced to control Japanese knotweed and other invasive species.

Speak to an expert regarding Japanese Knotweed

If you think your property has a Japanese knotweed problem, and you want to speak to an expert, simply contact us onlinefind your local branch or call us today and speak to one of our Japanese knotweed specialists.

Contact Wise Knotweed Solutions