When it comes to gardening – us Brits fancy ourselves as a green fingered bunch.

But new research has revealed that more than half of the great British public are not able to spot the difference between a weed and a flower.

Researchers discovered that despite our ambition to give celebrity gardeners a run for their money, we regularly don wellies and gardening gloves to get stuck into a spot of weeding, only for 51 per cent of us to yank out and bin garden flowers instead.

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Trowel being used to dig weeds out of soil
Weeded out: 51 per cent of us bin garden flowers instead of pesky weeds

The study also revealed many are unable to identify some of Britain’s most common blooms – including roses and lilies.

According to the research, 24% of us enjoy gardening at every possible opportunity, but nearly three in 10 admitted it can be a struggle to find the time to keep up with the weeding and everything else that needs doing in the garden.

A spokesperson for Hozelock, which commissioned the report, said: “Our survey shows there are different opinions and a degree of uncertainty when it comes to identifying whether certain plants are weeds or not.

“Although a weed is essentially a plant in the wrong place, weeds can interfere with other plant growth so it’s important to recognise them and deal with them as needed. Weeding can seem like a chore, which may be off-putting especially to those who are short on time.”

The study, carried out among 1,665 British garden owners, found that around one in ten consider a dandelion a flower rather than a weed, half of respondents were not sure if coltsfoot was a weed or not, more than one in 10 did not think the bramble was a weed and a fifth did not think the creeping buttercup was a weed.

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Prickly issue: Roses have been mistaken for weeds

Even more surprising was the revelation that many of us struggle to easily identify some of Britain’s most beautiful flowers.

Around one in ten admitted they weren’t completely sure what a rose looked like, while 13 per cent were hesitant when asked about a sunflower’s appearance.

Additionally, tulips were beyond 14 per cent, while 26 per cent said they couldn’t easily pick out a lily.

Furthermore half said they couldn’t identify a hydrangea, while a geranium stumped slightly fewer respondents.

Fuchsias, jasmine and sweet peas also proved troublesome for many garden owners.

Overall the study found almost one in two of us enjoy pottering about in the garden.

And roughly one in four said they had ‘more than basic knowledge’.

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Close-up of white and pink flowers of Lilium regale (Lily)
Seed of doubt: Many gardeners don’t know if a lily is a weed

The Hozelock spokesman added: “It is clear that the love of gardening is alive and well in Britain with nearly a quarter gardening at every opportunity and many more enjoying being out and about in their garden whenever the mood takes them.

“Of course hectic work schedules and busy social lives can sometimes get in the way, but those who are short on time can take advantage of the many gadgets available to help make light work of gardening tasks, from weeding to watering.”

Common weeds and percentage of Brits which think they are a flower:

Enchanter’s Nightshade – 23 per cent

Creeping Buttercup – 20 per cent

Bramble – 13 per cent

Dandelion – 12 per cent

Cleavers – 11 per cent

Common flowers and percentage of Brits which can’t identify them:

Rose – 10 per cent

Sunflower – 13 per cent

Tulip – 14 per cent

Lily – 26 per cent

Fuchsia – 39 per cent

Geranium – 43 per cent

Hydrangea – 51 per cent

Jasmine – 62 per cent

Sweet pea – 41 per cent

Charlie Dimmock

Gardener at BBC Gardeners World
Charlotte Elouise "Charlie" Dimmock (born 10 August 1966) is an English gardening expert and TV presenter. She was one of the team on Ground Force, a BBC gardening makeover programme.