Himalayan Balsam: A pretty flower but a major problem

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem.
It is mainly found on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. Read more →

Giant Hogweed - the not-so-friendly giant

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a short-lived perennial with tuberous stalks, lasting typically between 5-7 years.
It flowers in its final year from late-spring to mid-summer, with numerous white flowers clustered in umbrella-shaped heads that can be up to 80 cm in diameter. Each plant produces up to 100,000 flattened, 1 cm long, oval dry seeds. Read more →

Rhododendron – A beauty ... and a beast

Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) is a dense, suckering shrub or small tree, that can grow up to 8 metres tall. Although the flowers it produces are stunning, suckering of the root, together with its abundant seed production, has led to it becoming an invasive species over much of Western Europe and is in the top ten most invasive weeds in Ireland where it has spread across heathland, mountains and woodland areas. Read more →


Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is a spiny shrub from the Mediterranean region of Western Europe. Introduced to other countries, this shrub competes very successfully with native vegetation, and is ideally-suited to mild maritime climates. It readily competes for well-drained areas where the soils have been excessively disturbed or are naturally poor, and has become increasingly prevalent on roadsides, disturbed sites and on farmland. Gorse is a valuable plant for wildlife, providing dense thorny cover ideal for protecting bird nests, however, there is concern that gorse is spreading and posing a threat to forests and other resources. Read more →


Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is an invasive plant from the Raspberry family. Native to the west coast of North America, it was introduced in Victorian times to provide dense cover for game, since when it has spread out to colonise hedgerows, woodland and farmland.
Its lush dense growth, up to 2 metres, has a destructive effect on hedgerows and destroys native flora in woodlands. Read more →