Do you have any of these 'criminal' plants in your garden? The floral felons that are illegal and could cost you a fine

THERE are thousands of plant and flower varieties to choose from when it comes to planting your garden.

But did you know there are nine varieties that are actually illegal in the U.K., and could even lead to you being given a fine?

"These plants tend to spread vigorously, making their control costly and difficult," Fantastic Gardeners said.

"Fines and regulations would apply to anyone who fails to abide by the law."

First up, spear thistle.

This problematic weed produces a taproot on germination and has roots that grow horizontally.

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It's highly invasive and was listed as an injurious weed species under the Weeds Act 1959.

Common ragwort is one of the most commonly reported weeds in the country, as its poisonous to most mammals.

It's a biennial, flowering from June to November in its second year.

It can grow up to one metre in height and looks relatively pretty – with daisy-like yellow flowers.

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Broad-leaved dock, aka the dock leaf, can most commonly be found next to water or disturbed ground, but it can grow in all soil types – with no "climatic limitation".

However, it's a highly invasive plant, and can lead to unwanted pests coming into the garden.

Curled dock is another member of the dock family and, liked broad-leaved dock, is also covered by the Weeds Act 1959.

According to the Wildlife Trusts website, curly dock "shows incredible resistance to change; for example, it can be submerged in floodwaters for up to eight weeks and still survive, despite its preference for drier soils".

You've probably heard about the dangers of Japanese knotweed.

It can cause huge issues for homeowners, as its vast root system exploits weaknesses in building foundations and drainage systems.

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In some cases, it can even lead to a building becoming structurallyunsound.

But having it removed is anything but easy, and can cost upwards of £10,000.

The next "criminal" plant is the Rhododendron ponticum.

This plant is listed on Schedule 9 of the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act as an invasive, non-native species. 

Not only can it grow to up to four metres in height, it can also block out sunlight for other plants.

Himalayan Balsam is next on the list.

It's a relative of the much-loved Busy Lizzie, but grows much taller and can cause a major weed problem.

Because it can thrive even in low light levels, it ends up shading other vegetation – eventually killing it off.

Each plant also has around 800 seeds, meaning that it can quickly spread up to 22 feet from its original site.

Giant Hogweed is another plant that you've probably already heard of.

It's a  tall, cow parsley-like plant with thick stems that are often purple-blotched.

But inside, it's filled with a chemical called furanocoumarins, which can cause significant injury – such as burns and permanent scarring – if it comes into contact with human skin.

Last on the list is New Zealand Pigmyweed.

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Sales of this plant have been banned in the U.K. since 2014, and it's also listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales.

While it's an excellent oxygenator in lakes and canals, it can cause massive issues in garden ponds, as it spreads so quickly and effectively kills off any other pond life.

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