Look around your garden for these nine “criminal” plants you could be fined for growing
From broadleaf dock to ragwort, giant hogweed to creeping thistle, certain species of plants could get you in trouble if found on your land under UK law
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Avid gardeners across the UK are spending their time sowing, mowing and hoeing to keep their plots as green and colorful as possible this spring.
Flowers bloom, trees sparkle with blooms, and plants of all shapes and sizes thrive under the attention of their green-fingered guardians.
But what lurks in the earth yonder, hidden in the farthest reaches of the Gardens, growing silently and sometimes deadly from prying eyes?
You’d be surprised at the “crime” that thrives under the noses of aspiring gardeners, literally in their own backyard, but would you know the difference between prohibited and non-prohibited types of weeds or plants cropping up on the ground around you?
The purple heads of spear thistles glow like little beacons, the yellow flowers of ragwort dazzle like sunshine, while sorrel leaves soothe nettle stings, but they’re also some of the problem plants threatening wildlife, the food chain, and biodiversity across the country.
Control of this widespread flora is vital to prevent further damage to neighboring properties or wild areas and some invasive weeds are heavily regulated in the UK, with fines being imposed on anyone who fails to keep them under control.
Here are nine examples of plants that it is against the law to grow outside in your garden.
This well-known foliar remedy for nettle irritation is highly invasive and attracts a number of unwanted garden pests.
It can grow in all soil types, can be found near water or agitated soil, and there is nothing stopping it from spreading without limits.
Very similar to broadleaf dock, it is known as a flexible weed and will outperform most native species, displaying incredible resilience to change.
Both sorrel crops fall under the Weeds Act 1959.
The profusion of yellow flowers belies the fact that this plant is poisonous to most mammals.
As one of the most widespread weeds in the country, its growth must be tightly controlled to protect livestock.
Giant Bear Claw
Also known as Cow Parsley and introduced to Britain by the Victorians, this umbellifer is actually a member of the carrot family, believe it or not, but rather than leave you seeing in the dark it’s more likely to give you recurring skin damage.
The grass is full of harmful toxins known as furanocoumarins and problems can arise if you come into contact with the sap, which is why it is tightly controlled.
This plant, with its showy pink flowers, has been a part of the British landscape since 1839, but it is an invasive, fast-growing beast that prevents native species from growing.
Its explosive seed pods — which contain around 800 seeds in each plant — aid its spread and, if left unchecked, can easily take over.
Many riverbanks are proliferated with its non-native species and like Himalayan Balsam, it halts the progress of native plants.
It can take years and cost a lot of money to get rid of, while organizations like wildlife trusts are keen to eradicate this invasive pest.
New Zealand pygmy herb
Also known as the Australian marsh stonecrop, it arrived on this coast from Tasmania in 1911 and is another invasive species that is difficult to control.
Known to kill any native plants in its path, it can also increase the risk of flooding due to its dense growth in bodies of water that can impede drainage, while its sale has been banned since 2014 to control rapid spread.
Another plant that hides a deadly secret behind its colorful facade, this shrub can harbor disease and be toxic to mammals.
It can also grow very large, blocking sunlight from surrounding vegetation, and is difficult — and expensive — to remove.
The national emblem of Scotland but a problem plant posing a significant threat to other native British species.
It forms a taproot with horizontally growing side roots when germinating and can be a nuisance on agricultural land.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/check-your-garden-nine-criminal-27057374 Look around your garden for these nine "criminal" plants you could be fined for growing