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Help! Invasive unidentified plant

Hi All,

I hope someone here can provide some advice and help! I recently moved into a new house and over the spring shoots of what initially looked a bit like asparagus (but yellow in colour) started to sprout up through the patio, lifting the slaps in the process. It then turned green with lots of spikes (see images below). The garden had not been touched for about 20 years and as I am clearing it, i am seeing this everywhere. It seems to be sprouting from rhizomes. 

I am an very inexperience gardener and would really appreciate some advice. What is it and how should i try and control it?

Thank you! 



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,344
    You are the proud owner of Mare’s tail.
    Abandon hope and move house.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • OryxOryx Posts: 6
    Hello - I'm always spending hours on the internet trying to identify plants. Someone just tipped me off about an app called Picture This Plant and Flower Identification. You take a pic with your phone and in seconds it tells you what it is! No fails so far, even when testing it on some of my more obscure plants.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,505
    Settle down to a long, and sometimes dispiriting, read
    Rutland, England
  • sfoulcersfoulcer Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone, it looks like a have a challenge on my hands :-( 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,169
    Good luck 👍. This is a good place to come and moan about it ... many of us will understand 🙄 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    A similar thread from the other day ; prepare to become very despondent ! :'(

  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Or go into business selling mare’s tail plant tonic.  I spotted a litre bottle of nettle liquid in a garden centre the other day for £8.50! 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I've read that, due to its high silica content, mare's tail was used in bygone days for scouring cooking pans.  Maybe you could tie it in small bundles and sell it as bio-degradable, plastic-free scouring pads.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,344
    I’d check with Trading Standards on the “biodegradable” description first.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
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