Do YOU know how to spot it? One in four people mistake Japanese knotweed for ... trends now
Discovering a Japanese knotweed infestation is every homeowner's worst nightmare.
The invasive plant is expensive to remove, can grow through walls, and can even stop you from getting a mortgage on your home.
But, do you really know your knotweed from your not-weed?
Japanese knotweed experts from Envrionet say that one in four people mistake knotweed for another common garden plant.
So, if you want to make sure you've got your eye on the right plant, here are the five key signs to look out for.
Japanese knotweed can be an expensive and destructive force in your garden, but many people struggle to identify this invasive plant
Environet operates a free plant ID service for people who are worried they might have knotweed in their garden, but the data shows that most cases are false alarms.
Only one in six reports to the ID service were knotweed, while one in four reports were actually native bindweed.
Emily Grant, director of operations at Environet, told MailOnline that this is by far the most common plant to be mistaken for knotweed.
Knotweed and bindweed both have somewhat similar shaped leaves and grow quickly.
Ms Grant says: 'Because bindweed is really aggressive and tends to get out of hand people tend to panic and think the worst.'
Knotweed stems (pictured) are tall, straight, and self-supporting. If you see a plant that is winding around something else it is definitely not knotweed
However, the easiest way to tell these two plants apart is to look at the stems.
Ms Grant said: 'Knotweed is self-supporting, so it will always be standing upright.'
Knotweed stems grow straight and tall, almost like bamboo, and are pale green with pinkish-purple splotches.
Bindweed, on the other hand, has to wrap itself around other objects and plants like a vine to climb up.
'So, if you come across a plant and it's wrapping itself around something else, then it's almost certainly not knotweed,' Ms Grant added.
Japanese knotweed (left) can often be mistaken for bindweed (middle top), dogwood (top right), or lilac (bottom right). But looking at the stems can be an easy way to tell these plants apart
Although knotweed and its lookalikes have similarly shaped leaves, there are differences that you can learn to spot.
Ms Grant explained: 'The leaves of bindweed are heart-shaped, so where the stem meets the leaf, it dips down into a heart shape.
'For Japanese knotweed, where the stem meets the leaf it is very flat.'
Knotweed leaves are bright green, broad, and shovel-shaped.
Another important sign is that knotweed leaves are arranged in a distinctive 'zig-zag' pattern along the stem.
Ms Grant says this distinctive leaf pattern is a good