It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. If not the plant will regrow in a candelabra effect producing even more seeds. The Himalayan balsam has swamped riverside areas throughout the country. And once growing, Himalayan balsam can proliferate at a fearsome rate. It has large 'policeman's helmet' pink-purple flowers. It’s important to time your Himalayan balsam control so you don’t inadvertently spread more seeds. It was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 and is thought to have mainly been spread by people passing seeds to each other. 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. Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. No. It grows up to 3 metres high, shading out the plants beneath it so that only crowds of tall Balsam are left growing. These flowers are followed by seedpods that will open and ‘explode’ when ripe and scatters the seeds up to 7 metres (23 feet) in all directions. The flowers are also edible and are used in jellies and wines. They are highly invasive not just because they are fast growing but each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. Seeds: Himalayan balsam seed capsules will hold up to 16 seeds. Impact Native Habitats: Himalayan Balsam can rapidly out-compete native plants due to its ability to rapidly reproduce and grow in dense stands. What is Himalayan Balsam? As it is an annual, it has no other reproductive method other than seed, and thus prevention of seeding is the key to control. Distribution. Control Methods Because Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant, it has no persistent root or rhizome system. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. 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. This plant is a “touch-me-not” plant, which means that when its seed capsules mature and dry, they explode when touched. Himalayan balsam spreads quickly as it can project its seeds up to four metres. Uprooted plants can be left to air dry and decompose on a non-permeable membrane. There are 4-16 seeds per pod and each plant can produce 800 seeds. Native to the western Himalayas, it was introduced to Kew Gardens in the early 1800s. 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. Seeds can be transported by water which helps this weed to spread quickly along waterways. However, the seeds only remain viable in the soil for a year or two. 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. Balsaminaceae (balsam) Also known as. Its explosive seed pods aid its spread by sending the seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream. The plant has had plenty of time to establish in the UK and, over the last 50 years, has spread rapidly. My flower border is full of flowers, roses included. Moist localities, river valleys (Cigic 2003). These can be ejected up to 7 metres from the parent plant and can be spread far and wide in streams and rivers. Himalayan balsam is widely distributed across Canada and can be found all of provinces except Saskatchewan. Impatiens glandulifera. In the UK armies of volunteers spend thousands of hours destroying this weed. The largest annual plant in Britain, growing up to 2.5m high from seed in a single season. Indian balsam, policeman’s helmet, Impatiens roylei. The exploding seed pods of Himalayan balsam scatter for a distance of up to 7 metres. Roots and adventitous roots of Himalayan Balsam. The entire seed population germinates synchronously in spring to form a dense stand. It was introduced to the UK in 1839 for ornamental … The genus Impatiens occurs in Africa, ... More problematic is the Himalayan balsam (I. glandulifera), a densely growing species which displaces smaller plants by denying them sunlight. Himalayan balsam is a summer annual of riparian areas which reproduces by seed only. Family. 18/7/2014 10:14:08 pm. 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. Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam); flower and seed pods. Himalayan Balsam has an orchid shaped flower resembling a British policeman’s helmet, which gave rise to its other common name of “Policeman’s helmet”. Hi Ruby, As it is an annual and only roots a couple of inches deep it's hardly a plague that needs dealing with. Himalayan Balsam seed. It is an invasive species that is difficult to control and manage as its seed head explodes, spreading the seeds over a wide range. Himalayan Balsam grows in tight stands and forms a mat of roots. Himalayan Balsam is, as the name suggests, native to India, more specifically to the Himalayas. Seeds can spread up to 5 m from the parent plant. Manual control . Himalayan balsam flowers from June to October. Note crab-spider on flower (Misumena vatia; Araneae, Thomisidae). himalayan balsam seeds. It is particularly rampant in Dorset. No individual plant lives, in any case, for more than a few months. The mature capsules burst, sending seeds up to several meters away. 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