Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 09:47 UK

Is there an alien in your garden?

By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News

Alien species are a problem in the UK - and invasive plants are causing some of the worst damage.

Simon Ford from the National Trust shows us around the Stourhead estate in Wiltshire, pointing out some key alien invader plants that grow in gardens around the UK.

Alien Invaders Garden Map

Garden invaders: Rhododendron

Rhododendron ponticum was introduced as an ornamental plant but it can spread very quickly and be difficult to control.

Garden invaders: Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam can spread along rivers, supressing native wildlife.

Garden invaders: Pond life

Ponds can play host to some of the most aggressive alien species.

Garden invaders: Buddleia

Buddleia, or the butterfly plant, is causing havoc on the railways.

Garden invaders: Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed was first introduced in gardens and has spread rapidly throughout the UK.

Garden invaders: Cherry laurel

Cherry laurel can cause problems if left to grow out of control.

Garden invaders: Holm oak

Holm oak, which is also known as evergreen oak, is damaging biodiversity.

Garden invaders: Montbretia

Montbretia is a common garden plant, but can grow out of control.



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