Where is it originally from? They are highly invasive not just because they are fast growing but each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. Distribution. Himalayan balsam is an aggressive invader of wetlands, streams and moist woodlands where it displaces native and beneficial vegetation, causing a loss in native biodiversity. 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. Clearing Himalayan balsam (Impatiens balsamifera) at Parke, Bovey Tracey, Devon, with a tractor and topper. The entire seed population germinates synchronously in spring to form a dense stand. Himalayan Balsam is, as the name suggests, native to India, more specifically to the Himalayas. Seeds can be transported by water which helps this weed to spread quickly along waterways. Himalayas (Northern Pakistan, Kashmir, India) What does it look like? Himalayan Balsam can spread extremely rapidly thanks to the huge amount of seeds it can produce. Description Himalayan balsam is an annual plant (it completes its lifecycle within one year), which grows to 2m tall with rough, reddish stems, shiny oval leaves about 15cm long with a red vein, and bright purple-pink flowers from June-September. Seeds are set from August to October. The seeds can be transported by wind or water. August 2002. Seeds: Himalayan balsam seed capsules will hold up to 16 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. By . Derek. And once growing, Himalayan balsam can proliferate at a fearsome rate. 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. It has large 'policeman's helmet' pink-purple flowers. The largest annual plant in Britain, growing up to 2.5m high from seed in a single season. Himalayan balsam is a fairly common and widespread weed nowadays! By the 1900s it was already common in south-west Germany and spreading via the Rhine River 3, and throughout Scandinavian countries by the mid-1900s. Hi Ruby, As it is an annual and only roots a couple of inches deep it's hardly a plague that needs dealing with. Invasive Species Guide: Himalayan Balsam 1 | P a g e Invasive Species Guide: Himalayan Balsam Photos are sourced from GBNNSS and Groundwork South. It grows up to 3 metres high, shading out the plants beneath it so that only crowds of tall Balsam are left growing. No individual plant lives, in any case, for more than a few months. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. himalayan balsam seeds. Each seed has a viability of 18 months. This plant is a “touch-me-not” plant, which means that when its seed capsules mature and dry, they explode when touched. It is particularly rampant in Dorset. The Himalayan balsam has swamped riverside areas throughout the country. Indian balsam, policeman’s helmet, Impatiens roylei. Public Domain - Released by Wouter Hagens/via wikipedia - CC0 : Leaves and stem: Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam); … Note crab-spider on flower (Misumena vatia; Araneae, Thomisidae). The plant has had plenty of time to establish in the UK and, over the last 50 years, has spread rapidly. If not the plant will regrow in a candelabra effect producing even more seeds. Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. 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). It was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 and is thought to have mainly been spread by people passing seeds to each other. Legislation. These can be ejected up to 7 metres from the parent plant and can be spread far and wide in streams and rivers. In Articles. 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. Posted December 12, 2020. Himalayan Balsam seed. Himalayan balsam spreads quickly as it can project its seeds up to four metres. Impact Native Habitats: Himalayan Balsam can rapidly out-compete native plants due to its ability to rapidly reproduce and grow in dense stands. Manual control . Uprooted plants can be left to air dry and decompose on a non-permeable membrane. Generally, Himalayan balsam grows to just over 2 metres tall and can be seen flowering in the middle and end of summer. When Himalayan balsam dies back, teliospores embedded in the leaves, fall to the ground to become part of the leaf litter, where they overwinter until the following spring, along with the seeds of the Himalayan balsam. The mature capsules burst, sending seeds up to several meters away. It is also commonly referred to as Indian Balsam. Balsaminaceae (balsam) Also known as. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that grows from the previous year’s seeds. Control Methods Because Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant, it has no persistent root or rhizome system. 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. 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. Roots and adventitous roots of Himalayan Balsam. In the case of Himalayan Balsam, seeds may be thrown 2 metres. What you may not know about Himalayan Balsam is that it is a highly edible plant. Seeds are also transported via water courses. The exploding seed pods of Himalayan balsam scatter for a distance of up to 7 metres. Distribution. In the UK armies of volunteers spend thousands of hours destroying this weed. 18/7/2014 10:14:08 pm. 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). Description It is pollinated by bumble-bees. Himalayan balsam Botanical Name. It is an invasive species that is difficult to control and manage as its seed head explodes, spreading the seeds over a wide range. My flower border is full of flowers, roses included. Native to the western Himalayas, it was introduced to Kew Gardens in the early 1800s. It was introduced to the UK in 1839 for ornamental … Himalayan balsam is listed on the Third Schedule of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera Invasive Species Identification and Control Guide Species Description Himalayan Balsam is a native species to the western Himalayans in North India. Family. Please do not sow seeds of Himalayan Balsam, its incredibly invasive and will smother out native plants! The seeds have a chilling requirement for germination to occur. Tolerates a wide variety of soil types, favours shaded and nutrient rich (SWIS 2009). When these die out in the autumn, the ground is left bare and vulnerable to erosion. After the plant has flowered it forms seed pods, each containing up to 2,500 seeds. 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. No. Once established Himalayan balsam, which can grow up to 10ft in height, outcompetes native … Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam); flower and seed pods. Himalayan Balsam grows in tight stands and forms a mat of roots. Its explosive seed pods aid its spread by sending the seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream. As it is an annual, it has no other reproductive method other than seed, and thus prevention of seeding is the key to control. Scattered plants are best pulled by hand, being careful to remove the whole plant. The green seed pods, seeds, young leaves and shoots are all edible and are traditionally used in curries in its native Himalayan region. Pulling or uprooting is also very effective. Bees are also attracted to the flowers and can spread the seeds widely. What is Himalayan Balsam? Himalayan balsam flowers from June to October. In areas with a high density of plants, strimming or cutting are effective control measures, but all stems must be completely severed below the lowest node (or joint). Himalayan balsam has a very shallow root making uprooting by hand easy. Reply. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. The pulling technique must be undertaken so that whole plant is uprooted and normally best done if pulled from low down the plant - If snapping occurs at a node the pulling must be completed to include the roots. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that is propegated by seed (each plant can produce 800 seeds). However, the seeds only remain viable in the soil for a year or two. 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”. Moist localities, river valleys (Cigic 2003). It’s important to time your Himalayan balsam control so you don’t inadvertently spread more seeds. Himalayan balsam is widely distributed across Canada and can be found all of provinces except Saskatchewan. • Mature seed pods explode when ripe, spreading seeds up to 7m from the parent plants. 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. 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. 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. 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. It has stalks reaching up to 2m in height that have a reddish tint. himalayan balsam seeds. Himalayan balsam is a summer annual of riparian areas which reproduces by seed only. Seeds can spread up to 5 m from the parent plant. Himalayan Balsam grows particularly well in damp places, and is commonly found spreading along river banks where it can float its seeds downstream to colonise new areas. 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. There are 4-16 seeds per pod and each plant can produce 800 seeds. It is believed that Himalayan balsam seeds remain viable for up to two years. The flowers are also edible and are used in jellies and wines. 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