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Knot Your Typical Weed


Eric Ribbens
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University


Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive plant that can be very hard to eliminate. This PowerPoint-driven case study briefly describes this plant and asks students to identify possible solutions for its control when a homeowner discovers it growing next to his house. The case was designed for an introductory college course, either a general biology course or a plant biology course, and while it can be used as a regular case, it was actually written to assess the students' ability to solve a problem and write an analysis. If you teach with cases, shouldn't you test with cases as well?

  • To test the ability of students to solve a real plant problem that they are probably not familiar with.
  • To better understand problems posed by invasive plant species and the difficulties involved in their control.
Keywords: Fallopia japonicum; Japanese knotweed; Polygonum cuspidatum; invasive species; weed control
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues)
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Science (General)   Botany / Plant Science  
Date Posted: 9/8/2015
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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