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Lesser knotweed is a perennial herb that can grow to 1m tall. The leaves are 8-15cm long and 3-5cm wide and are hairy on both sides. The tips of the branches are also slightly hairy towards the tip and are grooved. The flowers are pinkish or white and grow in bunches.
Lesser knotweed spreads readily from rhizome (root) fragments. In Britain it is a vigorous coloniser that grows in dense patches and suppresses other plants. Lesser knotweed can be propagated from stem cuttings and dividing the underground rhizomes (roots). Its ability to produce viable seed in New Zealand is unknown.In the UK, lesser knotweed is spreading from discarded rhizome (root) fragments. It may be spread inadvertently in soil of garden waste or intentionally, for ornamental purposes.