Noxious weeds

Safe Disposal of Noxious Weeds

caution road sign exclamation mark, in red triangle

The noxious weeds described below must not be added to the general garden pile/container (for composting).

Such weeds must be securely sealed in strong bags and places in the general waste pile/container.

Please contact the site manager if you need further assistance, or telphone Devon County Council Waste Management on 0345 155 1010.

Further information can be found on the government website.

  • Japanese Knotweed is a highly vigorous and hardy weed which can grow almost anywhere. It grows in clumps and can reach a height of 3 metres. Japanese Knotweed has a thick bamboo like stem which has a red and green pattern. Its leaves are light green, broad and triangular in shape. It can also have small white flowers.

    japanese knotweed

  • Common Ragwort is highly poisonous to cattle and other animals, however not harmful to humans. This weed is a stout ragged plant which can grow to a height of 1 metre. It has long thin toothed leaves which are green on the top and have a whitish underside. It also has large clusters of yellow flowers measuring approximately 2cm across.

    common ragwort

  • Curled Dock occurs most commonly in fields and particularly in drier soils. It is a very resilient plant, it seeds can survive up to 70 years underground before growing. This plant may grow to 1.2 metres in height and has leaves which grow in a long thin heart shape and can reach 30cm in length. The leaves sprout from its bottom section and on its upper part it has flowering stems which are reddish-brown in colour.

    curled dock

  • The Broad-Leaved Dock is very similar to the Curled Dock, only with wider leaves which can have wavy edges.

    broad leaved dock

  • Spear Thistle is a native weed which can grow to between 1-2.5 metres tall. Its leaves are very long and spiny growing up to 25cm long. Its most striking feature is its spiky thistle flowers which are redish pink in colour on the top and green on the bottom thorny section and around 2-4cm across.

    spear thistle

  • Creeping Thistle is a smaller relative of the Spear Thistle which grows to between 1-1.5 metres tall. It has long thin barbed leaves and a thin stem. It will also grow a deep root system making it strong and perseverant. Its flowering thistle heads are pinky purple in colour and less spiky than the Spear Thistle.

    creeping thistle

  • Giant hogweed is a tall, cow parsley-like plant with thick bristly stems that are often purple-blotched and it’s sap can cause severe skin burns. The flower heads can be as large as 60cm (2ft) across. Giant Hogweed can reach a height of 3.5m (11.5ft) or more and has a spread of about 1-2m (3.5-7ft).

    Giant Hogweed, tall, cow parsley like plant with thick bristly stems

  • Himalayan balsam is a tall growing annual, 2-3m (6-10ft) in height. Between June and October it produces clusters of purplish pink (or rarely white) helmet-shaped flowers.

    The flowers are followed by seed pods that open explosively when ripe. Himalayan balsam grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes.

    Himalayan Balsam is a tall growing annual. Between June and October it produces clustesr of purplish pink flowers