Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. It is an invasive species that is difficult to control and manage as its seed head explodes, spreading the seeds over a wide range. Legislation. Clearing Himalayan balsam (Impatiens balsamifera) at Parke, Bovey Tracey, Devon, with a tractor and topper. Himalayan balsam is listed on the Third Schedule of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. In Articles. It is pollinated by bumble-bees. Himalayan balsam has a very shallow root making uprooting by hand easy. Where is it originally from? Himalayan balsam: This weed is not known to be naturalised in Victoria: Habitat: It grows in forest up to the timber line, as well as more open and disturbed habitats, relative frost tolerance (Tabak & von Wettberg 2008). The plant produces a large amount of nectar which may result in less pollination of native species by bumblebees and a subsequent loss of biodiversity. The mature capsules burst, sending seeds up to several meters away. Bees are also attracted to the flowers and can spread the seeds widely. Derek. After the plant has flowered it forms seed pods, each containing up to 2,500 seeds. The reason it's able to flourish as much as is it does is because it can survive in low-level light conditions where other plants would struggle. August 2002. Seeds can be transported by water which helps this weed to spread quickly along waterways. Uprooted plants can be left to air dry and decompose on a non-permeable membrane. Pulling or uprooting is also very effective. Invasive Species Guide: Himalayan Balsam 1 | P a g e Invasive Species Guide: Himalayan Balsam Photos are sourced from GBNNSS and Groundwork South. Reply. Native to the western Himalayas, it was introduced to Kew Gardens in the early 1800s. Himalayan balsam is a summer annual of riparian areas which reproduces by seed only. Many seeds drop into the water and contaminate land and riverbanks downstream, but the explosive nature of its seed release means it can spread upstream too. Colonising rail and river banks, wastelands and woodlands, Himalayan balsam was introduced to the British Isles in 1839 by Victorian plant hunters who were keen on its beautiful pink flowers and exploding seed pods. Fortunately the seeds cannot survive for long in the soil – up to a year and a half or so – and if enough time and resources can be devoted to removing the plants this can be effective; however, seeds can come in from elsewhere and it can be difficult to get to all the plants. By . Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that grows from the previous year’s seeds. My flower border is full of flowers, roses included. Himalayas (Northern Pakistan, Kashmir, India) What does it look like? Public Domain - Released by Wouter Hagens/via wikipedia - CC0 : Leaves and stem: Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam); … They are highly invasive not just because they are fast growing but each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. No. No individual plant lives, in any case, for more than a few months. Himalayan balsam will grow up to around 1-2m high and between roughly June and October, it will produce a cluster of purple/pink helmet-shaped flowers that has been compared to a policeman’s helmet. Tolerates a wide variety of soil types, favours shaded and nutrient rich (SWIS 2009). The Himalayan balsam has swamped riverside areas throughout the country. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. Himalayan Balsam seed. The exploding seed pods of Himalayan balsam scatter for a distance of up to 7 metres. Home / Articles / himalayan balsam seeds. Like other balsam flowers, the plant reproduces by seed, and it will put out up to 800 of them every year.These seeds can travel a short distance through the air or miles and miles if they get caught up in a river or stream. Note crab-spider on flower (Misumena vatia; Araneae, Thomisidae). It is believed that Himalayan balsam seeds remain viable for up to two years. However, the seeds only remain viable in the soil for a year or two. Seeds are also transported via water courses. Seeds: Himalayan balsam seed capsules will hold up to 16 seeds. Scattered plants are best pulled by hand, being careful to remove the whole plant. What you may not know about Himalayan Balsam is that it is a highly edible plant. Himalayan balsam flowers from June to October. These seeds are stored in fruit capsules at the top of the plant, which when mature or prodded explode, spreading them far into the air and over a wide area (up to seven metres). Himalayan Balsam is, as the name suggests, native to India, more specifically to the Himalayas. Himalayan balsam is widely distributed across Canada and can be found all of provinces except Saskatchewan. The plant has had plenty of time to establish in the UK and, over the last 50 years, has spread rapidly. Manual control . Himalayan Balsam was introduced as a garden plant in 1839, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches, especially close to towns. Control Methods Because Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant, it has no persistent root or rhizome system. Impatiens glandulifera. Control efforts aim to prevent the plant from flowering and setting seed, as the seeds are explosive and can spread viable seed over large areas. The green seed pods, seeds, young leaves and shoots are all edible and are traditionally used in curries in its native Himalayan region. 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