Rare 'Bohemian Knotweed' is discovered in Buckinghamshire

A more invasive cousin of the notorious Japanese knotweed has been spotted in Buckinghamshire.  

Called Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia Bohemica), it is a hybrid created from cross fertilisation of the Japanese and Giant varieties. 

A homeowner discovered the rare weed in his garden and called in experts with diggers to remove the invasive plant, which can destroy a property's value.  

Similar to its cousins, Bohemian knotweed is exceptionally strong and its roots are capable of growing through concrete, drains, mortar, brick and even cavity walls.

Around four per cent of British properties are plagued by knotweed, but only two per cent of these cases involve the rare Bohemian variety.

As a result of its reputation and potential to cause severe damage, knotweed infestation can knock ten per cent off a proprieties value.  

The rare Bohemian Knotweed was found in Aylesbury (pictured). The pest species can bring down the value of a house if it is not removed

The rare Bohemian Knotweed was found in Aylesbury (pictured). The pest species can bring down the value of a house if it is not removed

Stuart Marshall (pictured) found the species in the garden of a house he inherited in Aylesbury, Bucks, and had to have it professionally removed

Stuart Marshall (pictured) found the species in the garden of a house he inherited in Aylesbury, Bucks, and had to have it professionally removed 

Stuart Marshall found the species in the garden of a house he inherited in Aylesbury.  

'I was clearing the garden when I came across the plant which seemed to be growing vigorously, but otherwise didn't look particularly menacing,' he said.

'I only became suspicious that it might be invasive when my attempts to remove it failed.'

Growing concerned he called in the experts at Environet, a British company which specialises in tackling invasive plants, such as bamboo and Japanese knotweed.

'Environet immediately identified it as Bohemian knotweed which I'd never heard of before,' Mr Marshall says. 

'I'm renovating the house to sell so decided to have the plant excavated, which only takes a couple of days, with a root barrier installed to protect the home in the future.' 

Nic Seal, founder and managing director of Environet UK, told MailOnline just two per cent of surveys identify the hybrid variety. 

Nic Seal, founder and managing director of Environet UK, told MailOnline just two per cent of surveys identify the hybrid variety (pictured, Bohemian knotweed in the garden)

Nic Seal, founder and managing director of Environet UK, told MailOnline just two per cent of surveys identify the hybrid variety (pictured, Bohemian knotweed in the garden)

Bohemian knotweed spreads rapidly via its powerful rhizome (root) system (pictured) which can grow up to two metres deep, making it very difficult to remove

Bohemian knotweed spreads rapidly via its powerful rhizome (root) system (pictured) which can grow up to two metres deep, making it very difficult to remove

WHAT IS BOHEMIAN KNOTWEED? 

Bohemian Knotweed was introduced to Ireland as an ornamental plant but has become widespread as a pest plant, especially along rivers and roadways.

The leaves of the Bohemian Knotweed are larger than Japanese Knotweed but smaller than Giant Knotweed, and it has a creamy white to greenish white flower. 

They can also vary in shape from square ended to heart shaped and both variations can appear on the same plant. 

This plant has the ability to produce male plants and produce viable pollen.

Can grow to 10ft (3m) tall and this hybrid is considered to be more vigorous than either of its parents, it spreads quicker and could potentially be harder to eradicate.

Pictured, leaves of various knotweed species

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