Nature Blog Network

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glanduliferna) has been found in the field, sadly. Although beautiful, it is a non-native and highly invasive plant which crowds out less vigorous native species. I'm not sure where it came from as there is none in the immediate vicinity, although there is a large colony near Balladen Brook about 1/3 mile away. Perhaps it came from there.

Apparently it is related to the Busy Lizzie. It grows to between 6-10 feet height and produces pink (or occasionally white) flowers. It tends to flower between June and September. Flowers are followed by large green pods which can release hundreds of seeds over quite a wide area.

balsam 1 600

Control is usually by 'balsam bashing', ideally before the seeds develop. So I spent the morning trying to get it out.

balsam 2 600

That's better!