From 2015: Sam Knight’s dispatch from the Welsh war on Japanese knotweed, and the realisation that we’re not so different from the invasive, unkillable pest:

“Taylor kept talking about the knotweed’s power and versatility, and I thought I detected in his voice some of the admiration that I had heard from other professionals who had dedicated their working lives to controlling the weed, a feeling that Trevor Renals, the national invasive-species adviser at the U.K.’s Environment Agency, described when he told me about the time he saw a shoot of knotweed rise from a plant that he thought he had killed thirteen years earlier. ‘That’s my girl.’

“But in fact what Taylor was expressing was not admiration but the pain of recognition, another feeling that many people experience when encountering the plant, and one that I found myself suffering from during the summer I spent in its company. There is no weedier or more invasive species than humankind, and the world that we have made is for generalist organisms like us – Norwegian rats, common crows, zebra mussels, long-horned beetles, brown tree snakes – that can thrive on the far side of any mountain. ‘I mean, Antarctica is the only place we’ve not actually gone to and adapted to,’ said Taylor. ‘Japanese knotweed is the same.’”